Monday, July 29, 2019

I Don't Want to Grow Up...But....


If you were to talk to some of my best friends they would tell you that I have resisted being a grown-up most of my life. 

And, in many ways--good and not-so-good--I've succeeded; at least from outward appearances.

It seems, though, that we are moving through a time in which even the folks who are supposed to be the grown-ups in the room are acting out. 

In a recent interview, Gayle King of CBS This Morning, said, “The world seems upside down. We are encouraged to be our worst selves. In all levels."

Remember the homecoming parade in the wonderful movie, Animal House? One of the best scenes was when one of the Delta Fraternity guys led the Faber College band down a blind alley.

We are moving through one of those times in America when the folks at the front of the parade aren't leading us where we need to go.

So, if the grown-ups aren't going to act grown-up, what do we do?

Gayle King added, "We need to start holding it down, individually.”

And yes, I hate it! I've spent more than 4 decades perfecting my I'm not a grown-up act.

But, the outcome we are looking at--think again of the Faber College band in the alley--is not something any of us want.

So, here's our first contribution: You and I can do/talk/think something positive. When folks start down the negativity road we are hearing in conversations, seeing on television and online, and feeling in many situations, ask, "What is something good that is happening?"

I know it sounds trite. And, I know there will be some people who talk about the negative as if it is a good thing, but we need to bring them back to the positive. 

Remember, in some of our darkest days the real grown-ups--Lincoln, Roosevelt, King--focused on the future and the positive. 

It seems that we all need to step out and be grown-ups. 

If I'm willing to do it, you certainly can.


Sunday, July 21, 2019

You Take Care of You


One of the lectures we all get as children is, “Don’t be selfish!” 

Unfortunately, a lot of us take that directive waaaay too seriously. We internalize it to mean that almost anytime we are watching out for ourselves we are being “selfish.” 

Please take this moment as permission to take care of yourself. 

If self-care is new to you, start simply; drink more water, take a walk on a regular basis and try to get a little more sleep. 

It’s OK, you now have permission.

 Even the people who lectured you will agree. 

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Dealing a Hand of Misery Poker


I bet you have an acquaintance like one of mine, someone who loves to play Misery Poker. If Pouting Paul is in the room when someone notes a challenge, defeat or hurt he always has a worse story. 

Your mentioning that you bumped your hip on the kitchen island this morning brings a tale of woe from PP that has him figuratively helicoptered to Duke Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. 

Now, when he starts dealing a hand of Misery Poker I’ll gently ask, “Paul, what happened today that is good?” 

His awareness is starting to light up.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The 4th Is Over! What's Next?


We’ve all been in jobs in which we were asked to provide annual projections, sometimes 36-months forecasts. 

Long-range corporate planning needs those guesstimates but, from a practical standpoint, I’ve always been more focused and worked with more urgency looking at shorter horizons. 

I use holidays. 

Last weekend’s July 4th holiday signaled the middle of summer; next up, Labor Day. 

I can stay more focused and get a lot done if I'm staring down the barrel of 6-7 weeks instead of 12 months. 

Then, Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year—Easter—Memorial Day. 

From a practical standpoint, what if you looked at the year in chunks from 6-7 weeks to 3 months? 

And yes, if it works better for you to look at the year and break it up into chunks like that then go right ahead. 

Whatever works for you, works for you.

Have a great summer....and get those used fireworks stems out of the front yard...the neighbors were watching.