Thursday, September 7, 2017

Sit Means Sit

The truck beside me in the intersection had a big sign on the side…Sit Means Sit. 

It was a dog-training company.

Immediately, I thought about some of the folks we all have to manage at work and in our personal lives. When some people are given instructions, they want to know the What? Why? Who? Where? When? How? and How Much?

Think all 9 year-olds and lots of adults.

Often, we simply want to be able to say, “Sit means sit.” Just do it. Asking questions about every little instruction slows things down.

Unfortunately—or, fortunately, depending on the situation—we are better served by understanding enough about the other person to know that if they want more details we better give them something.  

Now…we live in such a vortex of political correctness that some readers immediately had the thought, “I can’t believe you’d think of using a dog-training technique for managing people!”

Chill out, the most creative people I know find great ideas everywhere. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Bump! Bump! Bye!

A couple of days ago a friend called to tell me about a good event in her life. She was about two minutes into the tale when I heard a couple of bumping sounds. She calmly said, “I’ve just been in a wreck. I have to go now.” 

My friend is fine, the folks in the other vehicles are fine and she only has some easily-repaired damage to her front bumper. However, the whole thing could have been much worse….and, avoided. 

Even though she was using a hands-free phone she was driving in traffic and distracted. 

Reading some of the information coming out of Houston I’m not amazed at reports of people texting in evacuation traffic, pulling over to shoot selfies with flooded buildings in the background, and other ridiculous actions.

I don’t have to tell you that this is Labor Day Weekend. The National Safety Council estimates that 438 Americans will die on the roads during the next 4 days. 

I’m sure you’re a good driver and smart person…but, everyone else out there isn’t. 

Stay alert, stay off the phone and stay alive.

Have a great Labor Day Weekend!!

Monday, August 28, 2017

We Have Got to Settle Down!

For the last half-hour I’ve tried to think of a way to broach a subject that, by even mentioning it, will probably prompt some of you to immediately click off to another site.

You simply won’t be able to handle the stress. You’ll immediately think, “I’ve heard all I need to hear about this in the last few weeks!” 

I certainly understand.

I’ve come at the topic a variety of ways; thinking that if I could ease into it some of you might give this a chance. I realize not everyone thinks the way I do—Thank Goodness!—but, in the United States, today, we’ve got to get to a point that we are willing to hear the other person out.

So, let’s address the issue head-on.

College football begins in earnest on Saturday…there, I’ve said it

My best friend—among others—teases me about watching decades-old games on ESPN Classic throughout the off-season. Hot outside? Hurricane coming? I’m inside watching Texas vs Arkansas from 1984 with Earl Campbell playing for Texas, and Darrell Royal coaching the Longhorns and Frank Broyles on the sideline for Arkansas. Hearing Keith Jackson and Ara Parseghian’s voices calling the game tells me that the world is as it should be.

And, I don’t have to be sitting on the couch staring at the TV. I can simply have the game on kinda low as background noise and the screen acts as artwork that I stop and gaze at every now and then as I pass through the room.

Now, here’s my point: What calms you down and tells you that you can make it; that you can get through the day, do what you have to do, and have the life you want? It might be meditation or prayer, seeing your kids off to school, listening to a certain type of music or your special song, appreciating art…you need to know what does it for you. 

You need to have something that doesn’t cost an arm-and-a-leg in money or time takes you to that special place/feeling you need to keep going when times are tough. Seriously.

College football does that for me.

This summer has been extraordinarily stressful in a variety of areas. Two things have kept me from standing on top of my house baying at the moon: ESPN Classic and the knowledge that, even if it’s a downpour this weekend, I’ll be able to walk into Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill to see the Heels.

What positive influence does that for you?

The fact that this weekend starts the college football season means that, at least until January 8, 2018 (the BCS National Championship Game), I’ll calm down, know that life is good even with the challenges, and remain convinced that Clemson fans really are just NC State fans who’ve had lobotomies.

Go Heels!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Walking Zoey, Food Lion Bag In Hand

A friend of mine has a Miniature Schnauzer and sometimes, as a sign of friendship/goodwill/patience, I walk Zoey.

Now, what I’m about to say may not sit well with some of you, but here it is, I’m not much of a “little dog” fan. Their barks—at anything, everything, and nothing—always sound like gargling marbles and that manic, the-house-is-on-fire! running around tends to get old fairly quickly.

I like bigger dogs. 

Although, to be honest, I don’t own a dog nor does a cat own me. 

Folks who know me remember that I used to room with a cat, Magic, a Blue Point Persian, who was about the size of a small lion. Magic would lie atop the tall bookcase next to the front door and swipe at people’s heads when they walked in; which was lots of fun to watch.

I can tell you that walking around the neighborhood with a little dog on a leash and a plastic, Food Lion bag in my hand is not my idea of a wonderful stroll. However, doing a good deed, getting a little exercise and being entertained by Zoey’s sniffing adventure is not a bad way to spend a half-hour or so.

My point is that we often have to do things that, on the surface, aren’t things we’d be choosing to do at that moment if we had a choice—which, most of the time, we do have if we think about it.

But, we make choices and the choices often place us in experiences we have a…how to put it?…low level of enthusiasm for.

When facing these experiences we have more choices: Grin and bear it, complain, grin and complain, suffer in Stoic silence…or do something about it. 

The doers, the make-it-happen folks, the positive thinkers always encourage us to do something about it. Which makes sense, if it’s an issue worth doing something about.

Sometimes, though, the best action is to just suck it up, move through the situation and keep…mmm…moving. 

If it’s a really tough situation, Winston Churchill had the best advice, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Walking Zoey certainly isn’t that bad and, at 12 years-old, she is experiencing some chronic health issues from which she may or may not recover. 

And, while I’m not that big on little dogs, I am a fan of Zoey. 

And our walks.

I’m just not that high on the Food Lion Bag.

Share this with a pet-lover, maybe they'll smile.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

How to Keep From Going Blind During the Eclipse

Even the North Carolina Department of Transportation has lost their minds over the eclipse. On major highways the big NCDOT signs now say, "Eclipse August 21, Expect Heavy Traffic, Plan Ahead"

A friend was looking online for eclipse glasses and found 3 pair for $, I'm as interested in the eclipse as anyone, but for $299 I can drive to Charleston, sleep in my car, visit the bar at the Francis Marion Hotel and watch the eclipse on television and it'll cost me a lot less than $299.

So, if you really want to safely experience an event that used to make primitive tribes throw virgins in volcanoes with hopes their gods would bring the sun back, here's what you do....

go get a box from the likker'll need one that is rectangular and usually holds 6 fifths...Jose Quervo or almost any cheap vodka box is the perfect size...

tear the flaps off the top

flip it over and poke a hole about the size of a big pencil 2/3 of the way up one end...if you want more complete instructions, poke the hole 1/3 of the way down the box from the end that is now the top and is glued's that?

now, on eclipse day you stand with your back to the sun, put the box over your head and position it so you can see a round spot of light on the end you are facing.

As the eclipse progresses you'll see the shadow of the eclipse begin to cover the light'll be just like watching the eclipse without actually looking at the sun...and you won't hurt your eyes!!

However, you should print this blog out so that when your neighbors call the cops, "My neighbor is standing in the middle of the street with a box on his head!!! I think the Trump stuff finally got to him!!!"'ll be able to explain that you simply didn't want to spend $299 for glasses that would make you go blind.

Have fun!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Question of the Day

Heard a question yesterday that may have changed my life.

While driving I was listening to Wayne Dyer (if you don't know the name you need to go to YouTube and check him out) and he said, "How would you treat yourself if you were who you believe yourself to really be?"

In our hearts-of-hearts we know we are good, kind and successful. We may not show the expected trappings of success, but we know that, if we learn and do certain things, we'll achieve the success we know we deserve.

Unfortunately, we spend too much time beating ourselves up...and yes, we could be slamming ourselves or simply bumping ourselves around with generally negative thoughts.

Over half our thoughts are of a negative nature; over half our conversations are, in one way or another, of a negative nature.

While our "Negativity Bias," the tendency to look for and expect the worst, kept us safe when we were living in caves it slows us down now.

"How would you treat yourself if you were who you believe yourself to really be?

If you know someone who might benefit from this message please share it!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Are You a Caregiver?

Caregiving is one of those life experiences that can be so wonderfully rewarding and so crushingly stressful and sad...all at the same time.

Are you are caregiver or do you know someone who is? 

Many of you know that a few years ago I created a video, Care for the Caregiver...won a National Caregiver Friendly Award from Today's Caregiver Magazine...just posted this ebook...Caregiver 101...101 Tips for Keeping Caregiving From Making You Crazy!!!...if you can use it, check it out...or, share with someone you know who is facing this challenge. 

If you are interested in the video it's on Amazon...just check out "Care for the Caregiver Mike Collins"...

here's the book...

Good Luck!!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Let's Go to the Beach for 2 Minutes

Whataya think about the picture?

If you're like me the first thought you have is, "I wish I was there!"

So, why not be there?

I'm going to ask you to take two minutes and hang with me on this....I promise you'll like it.

You want to really get into this: Focus on the picture and imagine yourself standing barefoot on the beach at the edge of the water. You're wearing shorts and a light shirt or top. You have cool sunglasses on and, if you need it, a hat of some type.

Imagine the feel of the sand on your bare feet. Take a few, slow, deep breaths and imagine a wonderful fragrance. It could be flowers off to the right, someone grilling down the beach, or the light, salty fragrance of the ocean.

Feel the warm sun on your face, arms and legs. A way to understand that you are too much of a grown-up is that you can't imagine this without automatically thinking, "OMG!!! Sunscreen!!!"

So, just chill out for about one more minute.

You hear the water lapping up on the beach and you feel the warm, wetness of the sea on your feet.

You look around and see how beautiful the beach, the sea and the sky really are.

Now, just relax into it.

This whole exercise takes about 2 minutes...and, if you're like most people, if you really get into it your heart rate will slow down a little and your body...and mind...will relax.

What you've just done is a mindfulness exercise...and doing it, or something like it, is REALLY healthy and good for you mentally and physically.

Enjoy the beach.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

I've Just Gotta Make a Decision About This

Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th president and who, as a five-star general during WWII, was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of Europe on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Eisenhower was known as an extraordinary decision-maker. It's said that he used the quadrant below as a decision-making tool. 

Think about the goals/ideas/responsibilities you have zooming around in your head and in your life. See if you can use the quandrant by fitting all your--stuff--into the appropriate categories.  You may be surprised where some of your focus falls (not to mention that TV show you just HAVE to watch).

Thursday, July 27, 2017

It Only Takes a Second

Too often we allow an experience, a moment, an instant to drag our energy, our vibration, down. Then we’re in a funk the rest of the day.

However, the same phenomenon can happen in a way that moves us in the opposite—the positive—direction.

This morning I’ve had five phone calls, in a row, that were all positive, uplifting and, well, fun!

I get it that you’re thinking, “Well, I sure didn’t have that!” I understand. 

Here’s the point, though, what’s something positive you can think about for a few minutes that pulls your vibration, your energy, up? Is it a person, an experience, a dream or something with your senses (sight/smell/taste/touch/hear)?

I hate to admit this, but I awoke this morning and immediately started thinking about a whole range of stressful things. This is a high pressure time in a number of ways and I could feel myself slowing down.

Then it happened! I had a thought that was the solution to a problem and, literally, within seconds, I could feel my mood lighten, my energy jump and my anticipation of getting on with the day grow dramatically!

If you’re feeling challenged like I am right now you can come up with a thought for at least a few minutes that moves you out of the stress lane and into the fast-moving, lighter-heart lane.

Try it! You’ll like it!!

BTW…I don’t usually plug my programs here, but the 5 phone calls were with people who want me to come present The Perfect Workday program for them and that’s my favorite seminar to present…so how cool is that?!!

If you’d like information about The Perfect Workday just zap me at

If you know someone who might benefit from this blog please forward it to them. 

If your organization might benefit from The Perfect Workday program send this to whoever makes those types of decisions.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


I’m a sucker for a good acronym. I like the catchiness of them and they are great learning tools.

The modern military is probably the institution in society that pushed the use of acronyms in order to simplify communications. Good examples are, AAD—Anti-Aircraft Defense, and DARPA Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (the people who create the Star Wars stuff we see now)…and everyone’s favorite, FUBAR (Look it up).

Everyday use of the internet, especially cellphones and texting, has kicked out BFF (Best Friends Forever), BTW (By The Way) and POS (Parents Over Shoulder…or, well…there is that other one)

One of my favorites is LUCK…Laboring Under Correct Knowledge.

Not long ago I ran into FOCUS…Follow One Course Until Successful!

If it’s true that we encounter answers/people/situations when we need them my encounter with FOCUS could not have happened at a better time. I’m in the middle of wrestling an octopus in life and I had gotten into a habit of trying to deal with too many arms at one time. 

Soooo, I’m starting to FOCUS on a couple of specific areas using one strategy and I’m seeing success—slowly, granted, but still, some success beats the chasing-my-tail, time wasters I was stressed-out about in the recent past.

Try it…Follow One Course Until Successful (or, until you see that that course just won’t work)…FOCUS.

If you believe this message would help someone else, please pass it on.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Climbing Into the Backseat With a Headache

Lying in bed this morning listening to the traffic fly by on Raleigh’s Beltine it hit me; the cars/trucks/motorcycles are like thoughts. We hear them coming, then their noise seems like it’s right on top of us, and then it recedes as the vehicles move away from us.

Let’s think about this…we don’t stand on the side of the Beltline, wave that busted muffler clunker over, and ask the driver to rev it up while we pick an argument with him or her…but we’ll do that in an instant in our thoughts.

We’ll wave down a worrisome, troubling thought and wallow in it for minutes, hours or days. And, we’ll keep doing it over and over. It’s as if we’re comfortable climbing into the backseat with that headache or heartache and looking at the driver and saying, “Ride us around for awhile…and, by the way, play The Allman Brothers’ ‘Whipping Post’ and turn it up REAL loud.”

One of the basic thoughts of meditation is to simply let thoughts go when they enter your mind. I’ve found that VERY difficult to do. But now, with this example, I think I can get better at letting a thought go. I just visualize it as that beat-up old jalopy cruising away from me…and the headache/heartache is driving it.

If you think this blog might help someone please pass it on. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Best Advice in Awhile

Just because you bought a car from someone doesn’t mean they can fix it.” Gordon Coleman

Gordon is a wonderful, young, techno-pro who designed a website for me. I was asking him about one of the online “design your own free website” offers and he made the buy/fix comment.

It was one of those things people say that sounds funny and snappy when you hear it, but if you give it some thought there’s a ton of truth that can be applied to many different areas of life.

The key is to—as often as possible—find the best person/tool/idea to fit the situation...not just the most convenient.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

My Desk Is the Size of a Small Car

If you have a desk or work area, take just a moment and look it over…what do you have on your desk?

If you were sitting here with me, at my desk, you might think my work area was messy. I counted 13 cards, small pictures, and big notes; a working notebook; 2 magazines and 2 newspapers (folded); 8 books in a stack and 22 books in a line on one corner of the desk; 3 or 4 paperweights, including a grip exerciser; an hourglass (running out); a beer mug with pens and a small American flag; a bunch of yellow sticky notes; a TV remote; a glass of water; a roll of toilet paper (I have a cold); a few bills to be paid; and a silver flask from Oxford University.

However, the center of the desk is clear except for my laptop. 

And, you need to understand that my desk is BIG. It’s made from a door (unfinished closet door from Home Depot) and two, plastic sawhorses. The whole thing cost less than $100. 

I know enough about my work style (I need to keep a lot of things around me for information and inspiration) to know that this is the desk I need.

How do you work best? If you do great work sitting at a table at Starbucks, go for it; if you work best in isolation, close the door or put on headphones; if you need noise and other types of stimulation, look for areas in which you get what you need.

I’m for all the rules about working, but you have to figure out what works best for you…and where you do your best work.

Monday, June 19, 2017

I HATE Tight Underwear!!!

The other day a friend told me I was being short with her. 

Now, I’ve known most of my life that I’m altitudinally challenged, but I don’t think that’s what she meant.

At the time I was trying to finish a project in which one of the contractors is in Pakistan. Communicating with him and getting the project completed was foremost on my mind--and stressful--and I didn’t do well with distractions.

Which brings me to my point…what distracts you?

Have you ever noticed that when you’re really into an activity—into the flow—it’s difficult to distract you. I can get so tied into something that I don’t hear outside noise, am not bothered by swings in temperature, and can even ignore some types of pain.

However, tight underwear gets my attention! So, a lot of the time I wear boxers so I don’t have to worry about T.U.S. (Tight Underwear Syndrome).

Now, I’m sure you realize my example here is kind of tongue-in-cheek…mmm…wait…that might not be the best example…but, let’s move on.

What types of distractions…distract you? Can you minimize those things when you’re trying to get something important done? Can  you put yourself in an environment that is most conducive to accomplishment? I have friends who have wonderful offices, but get important work done in their homes, cars, hotel rooms, libraries, Starbucks, outside at a picnic table, lobbies of hotels and all kinds of other places that offer an environment that, to them, is conducive to focus.

Where do you best focus? How can you spend more time there?

Would love to continue here, but I have GOT to get to the men’s department at Belks! Running out of boxers!

Sunday, June 18, 2017


You only get one life. Do what makes you happy and spend time with those who make you smile.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

I'm Thinking of Shaving My Legs

Ok…I’m going into a Dr. Phil moment so hang on: My best friend shaves his legs.

There, I’ve said it.

He’s an outstanding cyclist and triathlete and if I told him how much I respect his physical accomplishments he’d probably think I was asking him out for a date. (NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT IN TODAY’S WORLD!)

Anyway, he shaves his legs because he finds it’s more comfortable when he bikes and swims.

Now, yes, I think it’s a little crazy. But, he has a good, practical reason for it. 

Here’s the point, though: He believes shaving helps his performance, he doesn’t care what other people think about it, doing it doesn’t hurt other people…and, well, he likes shaving his legs.

There you go.

Even if he didn't have practical, performance reasons it's none of my business what he does if it makes him happy!

We all have little idiosyncrasies; things we enjoy doing that don’t really affect other people and we enjoy whatever it is. But, most of us think, “If other people knew I did this they’d think I was (you fill in the blank).

“I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t think about you at all.” -Coco Chanel

The people who love you, love you. The people who don’t know you are probably so tied up in themselves all they can do is judge.

“Forget about what everyone else thinks and says. If it makes you happy, do it.” Anon.

Life’s too short to worry about small people. If something makes you happy—or, you believe it will make you happy—there’s no sense in waiting; jump right in! Or, find way to try it, at least stick your toe in the water and see what it feels like.
Speaking of toes....about two weeks ago when I tried a pedicure for the first time (See!) I had the pedicurist paint my two big toenails Carolina Blue and put interlocking NC’s on them. I got a ton of comments at an Artsplosure celebration. My toes made me smile, made them smile and them smiling made me smile again!

You and I know there’s something you want to do and you’ve been hesitating.


“I don’t care what you think of me! Unless you think I’m awesome – in which case, you’re right! Carry on…” Anon.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Here's a Moment for This Weekend

So, friends, what's up for Memorial Day Weekend?

Are you planning a beach trip, cookout, ballgame, or are you staying home and piddling around or reading or both?

Whatever you are doing, please take a moment and remember the reason for Memorial Day; it is in remembrance of those "who died in active military service."

I don't know about you, but I often think of men and women, young and old, who experienced all kinds of deaths in places well-remembered, forgotten, or never known.

And, they did it on our behalf.

That's the part you need to remember; they died so that I could sit here in my office in safety and type this memorium; so you could sit in safety and read it.

I believe their spirits are with us always. I believe a lot of them are looking at what they defended and are thinking (if that's what they do), "WTF??!!!"

I'm not busting the people in power right now because that's a polarizing act. However, I am busting what's happening; a dramatic drop in respect for the United States around the world, confusion among the people who should know what they are doing, and legislative decisions that seem to put at risk those of us who are the weakest and least able to take care of themselves.

So much of what we see now is not what people sacrificed their lives for at Lexington, Gettysburg, the Sorbonne, Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Heartbreak Ridge, the Tet Offensive, Baghdad and Basra.

We owe those who made the ultimate sacrifice more than we are now giving.

Remember them when you're having a beer and burger this weekend. Remember them--at least for a moment--on a Monday you will, in all probability, safely enjoy thanks to their sacrifices.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Who's Yer Brother?!

This is from the National Day Calendar: "Observed every year on May 24, Brother’s Day honors the brothers in our lives.  Whether we have one or many, our brothers hold a special place in our hearts.  Even for those who don’t have brothers, someone in their life is usually like a brother to them.  Brothers from other mothers are found in a best friend, a brother-in-law or a cousin.  They are the men in our lives we count on even when we don’t talk very often.  We share memories, challenges that frequently began with the phrase, “Watch this!” soon followed by a few stitches.
They are the men in our lives we count on even when we don’t talk very often.  We share memories, challenges that frequently began with the phrase, “What’s this!” soon followed by a few stitches. While minding their own business, they are also prepared to step in when necessary.  That’s what brothers do.
Of course, they’ve been known to put toads on your head or gum in your hair.  They may have been too cool for you once, too.  Brothers come in many shapes and sizes and so do their relationships.  Whatever yours is, take the time to celebrate your brother on Brother’s Day."
So, to Joe, David, Jeff, Joel, Bob, Buddy, Fred, Andy, Brian, and Pi Kapps everywhere, thank you for being my brothers. You've been there when I needed you as I have tried to be there for you.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Yelling At a 3-Year Old

If a fearful, 3-year old child came to you with a problem what would you say and do? 

Would you berate them, yell at them that they are stupid and a loser, or, at worst, slapp’em around a little and tell’em to suck it up and be tough?

While there are animals, idiots, and misguided people in the world who might do all those things most of us would find solutions of that type of be the farthest things from our minds. (In fact, even reading that sentence made some of you uncomfortable)

The vast majority of us would listen, sympathize and empathize, calm the child and offer help.

Now, here’s the problem: Most of us, when we come to ourselves with a challenge, treat ourselves in the rougher, less human and understanding way.

No kidding.

We are much harder on ourselves than we are on others. 

There’s a wonderful quote that says, “When we are in our own minds we are behind enemy lines.”

What would you do if you—as a 3-year old—came to you with a challenge? How would you listen? How would you sympathize and empathize? How would you help yourself step up to the challenge, deal with it, and move on?

This isn’t fluffy-thinking silliness, or being too soft on yourself, or dodging the issue. This is becoming more self-aware, which most of us are not. 

What is a challenge you are facing right now? If a 3-year old, or a good friend, came to you with the same issue how would you treat them? What would you say? 

Try that with yourself and cut yourself a little slack. And, when you face the challenge and do what you can, give yourself a reward.

Treat your 3-year old to some ice cream. 

Rocky Road would be nice.

With sprinkles.

And Kool Whip.

I’m just sayin’. 

***I bet you know someone who could use this message...send it to them.

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Six-Pack and a Helium Balloon

A month ago I turned 65. A friend left a six-pack of Trader Joe’s Ale  with a Happy Birthday! balloon tied to it on my front porch.

The six-pack didn’t last very long at all. But, the balloon lasted A MONTH!!! I tied the long string to a lamp in the living room and was delighted every time I walked into the room. (Which tells me I should buy helium balloons every now and then and tie them up in the house!)

On Saturday I awoke to find that the balloon had sunk to about 2 feet above the floor. Made me kinda sad to think I wouldn’t see it around. However, when I clipped the string near the balloon’s neck it rose, wonderfully, to the ceiling.

That’s life, isn’t it? We feel ourselves slowly descending, but if we snip off something that is dragging us down—a belief, a person, a habit, a thing—we are lighter, stronger and better able to rise.

PS…here’s a thought…it’s usually better to be the snipper than the snippee. So, if, when you read the blog above you thought, “I could get snipped!” you need to closely look at the situation prompting the thought.  Sometimes, though, we need to be snipped to get us moving. 

Please pass this on to someone who needs to snip or be snipped.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Febreze and The Liberal Redneck

I have a confession…wait…no…well, yes…I did steal a Z off the Chapel Hill Pizza Hut roof in 1973. But, it was a for a good cause! It was Paul Zuerner’s birthday and, well, he’s a good guy.

(Sorry, I digress)

My confession is that I absolutely LOVE the new Febreze commercials. “I love youuuuu, but sometimes you stinnnnnk!” Go to the bottom of this blog and you should be able to click on and see it. Whoever the singer is, she’s wonderful.

Now, here comes a wild connection. If you have never checked out the comedian, Trae Crowder, The Liberal Redneck, he deserves your attention. I’ll go ahead and offer a disclaimer about his language (pretty heavy-duty), but this is a very smart guy with an ability to articulate some important points in a dramatic way. See the link below.

Today, I was listening to one of his rants recorded last fall after the election. He was talking about being at Thanksgiving lunch/dinner with relatives who voted the opposite of you. His best point was, “Just love’em, know they are wrong and just love’em.”

Immediately, I thought of the Febreze commercial! “I love youuuuuu, but sometimes you stinnnnnk!” Maybe that’s the best way to get back on solid ground with some folks.

At a time when polarization is the name of the game in our society we need to start thinking of ways to pull ourselves together. Humor can be a great way to do that. 

Remember, y’all….I love youuuuuu, and sometimes I stinnnnnk!!!

Wait…that’s not right.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Bad Things, Good People

Just received an email from a guy I’ve known for a number of years….here’s how the second paragraph started….”About six weeks ago I received the shocking news that I have stage 4 lung cancer. It’s inoperable and incurable.”  

This is a really, really good guy…we’ve helped each other in a variety of ways in business and, to some degree, in life….I immediately realized it was one of those moments in which I wanted to reach out and tell the people I love that I love them…

Whatever time you are reading this, pick up your phone and call someone; sit down with your laptop, pad or phone and text someone; walk in the next room where they are, get their attention if they are sitting near you, tap them on the shoulder and wake them up if they are lying next to you…and tell them you care about them.

This ride doesn’t last long and, to be honest, we don’t know when it will stop. We spend too much time focused on the little things as the big things ease on by us.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

CHICKENS??!!! WHAT THE %@#&??!!!

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”  Mark Twain

The rooster that alarm-clocked me this morning reminded me; Key West has the highest WHAT THE %@#&! factor of any place I’ve ever been. 

Oh, you’ll see/hear/taste/smell/feel some surprising things in New York, Tijuana, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Munich, London and Chapel Hill. But, for sheer volume of WHAT THE %@#&!, you’ve got to come to Key West. It is a wonderful microcosm of 21st Century America.

A friend of mine has been a solid, well-respected businessman in this area for 30+ years and, to him, all this stuff is like the stop sign at the end of your street; you see it and note it, but after you move past, it’s gone. He said, “The tourists love this stuff, but the locals think, ‘Just get rid of it.’” He also realizes, though, the value of the tourists.

Last night I leaned against a lamppost on Duval Street (WHAT THE %@#&! Central) and watched people’s reactions as they walked past one of the drag queen shows. As you can imagine, facial expressions ranged from horror to delight; from surprise to nothing-special. I wanted to be close enough to hear comments and the range was what you’d expect. “Wonderful!” “Godless!” “OMG!” (Literally, “O...M...G!”) and “Oh, My God!” “I loved that dress!” “Why do they do that?” And, the night’s winner, “What would their mother say?!!!”

Obviously, the comments are based on what’s normal for those folks…and, what they think normal should be for the rest of us. (see the Mark Twain quote above)

In Wednesday’s Raleigh News and Observer, writer J. Peder Zane talks about how the media is increasingly seen as an “enemy of the people,” as the president put it. And, while Zane certainly does not agree he does offer that the frequently left-leaning focus of the press is not supporting America’s claim to be the world’s free speech leader.

He says, “I know I’m right, but concede they have reasons for their beliefs. Most of them, however, don’t give my views the same credit.

Zane’s first sentence is how I see Key West, Duval Street and a lot of what is going on on our national stage. Unfortunately, lots of Americans seem to fit in the second sentence.

In all honesty, I like the WHAT THE %@#&! factor of life. So, the message I always get from Key West is, “Fun is the focus and don’t take yourself too seriously.” 

What if we looked at what is going on in America now in the same way? I mean…hey…you’re saying/thinking WHAT THE %@#&! every time you turn on the news or read a newspaper, anyway…right? 

(and head for Key West the first chance you get!)

If you know someone who might appreciate this, please pass it on.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Pants on Fire!

The last couple of days I’ve been working like my pants are on fire. At 8 am tomorrow I’m heading out for a 12-13 day biz/vacation and…let me stop right here for a second…my neighbors know I’m heading out and they are all armed, so if you want to come to The Tree House and snoop around please wear bullet-proof armor.

Now, as  I was saying, the last couple of days I’ve been working like crazy to get a lot of things done because I knew I’d be heading out pretty soon. I’ve got a To-Do List on a big flip chart beside the front door, am packing (HA! flip-flops, shorts and T-shirts except for biz days), loading the car, and reaching out to contractors to make sure things get done.

This is a well-known phenomenon, working to get ready to relax. We do a better job of planning with To-Do Lists, focusing on what’s really important, anticipating challenges that might arise and creating contingency plans, and creating partnerships so things get covered when we are gone.

Think about it; we don’t spend a lot of time pondering what we should do when a vacation is coming—we just jump up and do it! And, in most cases, when it’s time to leave I’m betting 80% of folks are standing at the door thinking, “Screw it, if I forgot something it’ll be here when I get back!” The other 20% worries about it during the vacation. 

Here’s my question: What if we spent one day a week working like we are going on vacation the next day? I wonder what we could accomplish?

I have no idea when you might be reading this…what if you looked at the next 2 hours as pre-vacation? What could you get done?

Please share if you know someone who could use this.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

It Ain't Worked Out.....

This morning on CBS Sunday Morning designer Betsey Johnson said, "It will all work out in the end. And, if it ain't worked out, it ain't the end."

Not a bad thought with which to start the week.

Know someone who needs it? Share.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Orange Heads and Shrimp Feet

“Good morning, class! Today we’re going to explore a couple of new, exciting and useful words.”


(Tommy) “But, Mr. Collins! The world is going down the tubes! Carolina lost last night and we have Duke coming into Chapel Hill on Tuesday! And, the smartest people in the world, accountants and movie stars, can’t even get a simple envelope exchange done right! And, worst of all, someone from Clemson is president of the United States!!!”

“Tommy, I’m a little lost on that last one.”

(Tommy) “The orange bobble head guy!!!! I’m telling you, the world is horrible and hateful and we’re all gonna die!!!”

“Oh. Well, Tommy thank you for that current events update. In fact, you’ve led us to our lesson today.”

“Class, Tommy has exhibited a wonderful example of paranoia. It’s a medical condition characterized by delusions of persecution and a fear of impending doom.”

“Today, let’s look at two words, neologism and pronoia.

Neoligism means a new word of phrase, which pronoia is. Pronoia is defined as the opposite state of mind to paranoia. It means having the sense that there is a conspiracy that exists to help the person, that life wants you to succeed and will help you.”

“Some people believe the world—life—is set up to help them have the life they want and be the person they want to be. Not without work, you understand, but they believe life is on our sides.”

“Tommy, what would you think about that?”

(Tommy) “I hate Clemson.”

“Fine. Tommy please go see Nurse Comer about your meds.”

“Class, what would your day and your life be like if you assumed, every morning when you get up, that things were going to work out your way? You would know that you’d do your part to create the life you want, but you’d also understand there are no forces out there that are automatically or naturally against you. That life wants you to succeed and will help you.”

(Carol) “Mr. Collins, Tommy just took off his shoes and it smells like shrimp back here.”

“Thank you, Carol. I’m sure life has a wonderfully positive reason for offering this experience. Class dismissed!!”

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