Thursday, December 21, 2017

Ho, Ho, Uh Oh!

You might want to sit down…oh, you’re already sitting down…Ok.

What I’m going to say next will be judged by some as heresy…as wrong as wrong can be…and I’m going to follow it up with a confession.

Here we go….

First, I’m not a big fan of the Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. 

There I said it. 

I’m more of a Miracle on 34th Street and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation kind of guy.

However, there is a wonderful lesson in It’s a Wonderful Life that goes waaaay beyond the movie. In the flik, Clarence the angel keeps Jimmy Stewart from jumping off the bridge and shows him how important his life has been in many other lives. 

And then, Clarence offers a line that should echo through all our lives,  "... no man is a failure who has friends.”

Here’s the confession and connection: In a variety of ways, the last two years have been the two most difficult, challenging and worst years of  my life. Hands down, few, if any, of the preceding 63 years have even come close.

However, the presence and kindnesses offered by many of my friends have gotten me through these times and continues to support me. 

All I can say is Thank You to: Joe, Lily, Jeff and Jincy, David, Mark and BJ, John, Cathy, Mary Michael, Wanda, Janet, Al, Don, Bob,  Mike, Mick, Marty, John, Joel and Joel, Jeff, Bary and Linda, Harold and, again, Lily.

Here at the end of the year Clarence’s observation, "... no man is a failure who has friends.” reinforces the feeling of the season! Take a moment and let a friend know how much they have meant to you this year and in years past. 

This is my end-of-year blog…thanks so much for putting up with me during the year…the first blog of ’18 will appear next week and will look ahead to what is shaping up to be a great year!

Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Do You Trust Your Boss? Maybe This Will Interest You

The article below ran in the Raleigh News and Observer on Sunday...something to think about no matter where you work.

Managers don’t fare well in worker survey

BY MARCIA HEROUX POUNDS (South Florida) Sun Sentinel

Eighty percent of employees say managers are unnecessary, a national survey on manager-employee relationships found.

The survey of more than 2,000 employees by Ultimate Software found that 75 percent of employees say approachability is the most important quality in an effective manager, but only half of 10 employees say they have an approachable manager.

For 93 percent of employees, trust in their direct boss is essential to staying satisfied at work, and over half of employees surveyed say that if they aren’t satisfied at work, they can’t put forth their best effort.

Ultimate Software, based in Weston, Fla., said the employee-manager relationship “matters a great deal when it comes to job satisfaction and retention.”

The survey, released Monday, is “a wake-up call for companies of all sizes to get serious about better training, coaching, and guidance for managers, so these relationships remain strong,” said Adam Rogers, chief technology officer at Ultimate Software, which specializes in human resources software.

Jason Dorsey, president and co-founder of the Center for Generational Kinetics, a research organization in Austin, Texas, said the results “highlight the long-standing belief that people don’t leave companies, they leave managers.” He said the issue is a “serious concern that affects everyone in the workforce and it’s something all companies should focus on fixing before they end up losing great leaders and valuable talent.”

Ultimate’s survey pointed to a significant gap in managers’ and employees’ perceptions: 80 percent of managers surveyed think they’re transparent with their direct reports, yet only 55 percent of employees agree. And while most employees say they feel comfortable communicating, 57 percent of managers wish their employees would be more open with what’s on their mind.

One problem, according to the survey, is that less than half of managers report having a mentor who gives them guidance on how to be a better leader, and 45 percent have never received management training.

Monday, December 4, 2017

I'm Afraid!!!!

How many folks do you know who would admit what I’m admitting? Hang with me and see if this message takes you somewhere helpful.

This morning I was talking with one of my smartest friends about fear.

We were agreeing that so much of what is going on now in the country is based on fear. As a nation, it seems that we are in the middle of a tornado of change and most people are naturally fearful of change. 

(Cue the cliche machine!) We all have changes going on in our lives. If nothing else, the person we see in the mirror every morning is changing—not just daily, but second to second. That thought, alone, kicks up fear in a lot of us. 

So, how do we deal with the fear?

Here are 3 simple suggestions for getting a handle on that Oh No! feeling in your life:

1. Understand that everyone—Ev-er-y-one—has fears. You are not in this alone.

2. Read through the acronyms below for F.E.A.R. Find one that works for you and take a few moments to think it through. Think about each word, separately, and then consider the whole phrase. You’ll find inspiration in each one.
- Future Events Appearing Real
- False Expectations Appearing Real
- False Evidence Appearing Real
- Face It, Explorer It, Accept It, Rise Above It
- Face Everything And Rise
- Face Everything And Run (Actually, I’m kinda partial to this! LOL!!)
3.  Name it. I’m betting your biggest fear comes in one of these areas: Health, Relationships, Work, Money, Social, Spiritual, Community. And yes, I understand that you have a lot of things going on in all the areas, but what is going on in one of the areas that seems to be a real dragon?

Now that you have some focus use the link below to check out the different ways you can deal with, lower, handle and, maybe, alleviate some of your fears.

Friday, November 17, 2017

John and Jillian…here’s how life works…or should...

“You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” Coach John Wooden

I believe that we all wonder, every now and then, if the good things we do when no one is watching come back to us…you know…the karma thing.

Yesterday, I had a wonderful example that they do.

I was in a meeting that did not look like it was going to end well. As things wound down a staff member came in with some information that totally changed the direction of the meeting; turning it into a huge win.

Jillian is one of those “easy to like” folks. Always positive and up-beat, she showed initiative in finding the information needed to take the meeting to a different level. 

There are tons of people who would never have gone to the trouble. They either aren’t aware or avoid anything that doesn’t directly impact their job and them.

Jillian didn’t have to step up, but she did. I don’t know if her actions were karma payback for some of my efforts or…and this is even more interesting…a good deed that I’m supposed to return. 

Look around, what simple, good deeds can you perform? Open a door, pick up a piece of trash, let someone in a line on the highway. I’m convinced that the little, good things mount up.

Whatever the process, thanks, Jillian…I’ll keep it going.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Lying, posturing and down-right slithering-in-the-mud low-lifeness.

If you’re like me you’re about 99 percent tired of all the political silliness, intrigue, lying, posturing and down-right slithering-in-the-mud low-lifeness.

Seriously, don’t you think the sentence above encapsulates what’s going on?

Over half of Americans are worried about what’s going on the country today. 

According to Time Magazine, The American Psychological Association (APA) just released the results of its annual Stress in America survey. The survey showed that the biggest stressor for 63% of us is the state of the U.S. 

The other two top vote-getters were money (62%) and work (61%).

The tough thing about all this is that when it comes to our thoughts about America we are getting more and more polarized in terms of what we watch, who we talk to, who we believe, what we think and what we say. 

And, that ain’t helping!

Here’s a simple start to getting a grip: It’s one question, a suggestion, and one more question.

When folks start spouting the stuff you disagree with, simply say, “That’s interesting. Why do you believe that?”

Now, here’s the suggestion: Don’t automatically assume they’re an idiot or a bad person. They simply have a different take on the situation than you do. One of the biggest problems for us right now is belief that folks who think differently are idiots and/or bad people. When we think that our feelings and thoughts about them take off into some dangerous territory (Ex. let’s do away with them to make the country better…sound familiar?)

Finally, here’s the second question (and it’s a tuffy): Can I resist telling them what I think if they don’t ask? Too often the only reason we engage people is to tell them what we think…or complain…over half of our conversations are of a negative nature…so, think about it.

That’s it…question…suggestion…question.

If you are concerned about where America is going and you seriously want the future to be better, actually listening to each other is the first step.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

“So…what’d ya think was going to happen?”

That’s the question I always want to ask folks who come to one of my programs without anything to write with nor anything to write on.

I get that fact that it could be any of these issues:
Lots of folks aren’t in meetings or educational opportunities very often. 
They aren’t in jobs in which tools like pads and paper are used.
They don’t have a very high opinion of continued education or staff development training
They didn’t have positive experiences in earlier educational settings 

But, my take on it is that anytime—as an adult—you are in any sort of meeting you can’t rely on your memory.

So, for work meetings, doctor’s appointments for yourself/children/parents/etc., parent/teacher conferences…anything in which you need to remember information…

You need something to write with and something to write on.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Tomorrow I'm Dressing Up As the New Mike...How About You?

As I’m sure you know, tomorrow is Halloween. 

If your costume for Halloween was the “New You” what would it be like? 

Here’s the interesting part: Give a thought to what your outside would look like…but, spend more time on what your inside would be like.

Think about your life in terms of Fun (easy to tell what is most important to me by what comes first), Mental/Intellectual, Physical, Spiritual, Financial, Relationships, Career, Community.

What new habits in these areas would you exhibit in your life?

What’s the New You like?

Monday, October 23, 2017

Being Thrown From the Boat

"My mom said she learned how to swim when someone took her out on the lake and threw her out of the boat. That's how she learned how to swim. I said, 'Mom, they weren't trying to teach you how to swim.'" Comedian Paula Poundstone

Is your history that the only way you learn is through pain and hardship. Maybe there's an easier way.

Maybe you could look for better ways to learn and try some of them.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Believe it or not, today is a BIG Day in more ways than one.

First, it’s National Boss’s Day. Whether you have a good boss or one you’d like to drop down the elevator shaft, find one good thing to say about them…to them. (And no, if the boss is someone you don’t respect and admire, the compliment, “You don’t sweat much for a fat person! does not count) Catch them doing something right. They’ll be appreciative and, in some cases, amazed.

Next, it’s National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day so let’s start filing or dropping all those cat photos and I HATE DUKE! graphics into the trash.

Speaking of….it’s National Cat Day. If you have a cat…wait, that’s not right…people don’t own cats…cats decide to stay around. Give'em a treat and laugh at their sneer.

And finally, it’s National Liqueur Day. I’m a Grand Marnier guy, but if you want something that is so good you won’t believe it…try Frangelica.

Big Day!!! You can clean your screen, bump your boss, caress your cat and sip some smooth. This is a day to remember!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

What About This Question?

Just received the note below from a seminar participant. She is referring to my suggestion about The Question Corner. In ANY type of meeting you should write, What? Why? Who? Where? When? Where? How? and How Much? in the upper left-hand corner of your notepad. The questions raise your level of attention and retention, help you come up with better questions and lower miscommunication. 

Seems like it worked for her.

Good Evening Mike,

I know we will see each other at class this week, but I was excited and just had to write to thank you.  

Because of your class last week I went into a meeting today with my list of who, what, when, where, why & how much questions.  For the first time, using your tips from class, I was able to listen, ask the appropriate questions and leave the meeting well educated and confident.  I followed up with her after the meeting as instructed.  Because of all this I will be able to put together a strong presentation to the new market.  

Thank you again for your time and knowledge.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Take the Easy Way

A very good friend is trying to sell her house and yesterday I worked like a field hand helping her get her yard and house ready to show.

I spent a fair amount of time raking leaves into piles and then using a snow shovel to scoop and carry the leaves to a spot at the back of the yard. 

And yes, there was a leaf-blower (I can hear some of you detail dragons, “WHY NOT USE THE LEAF BLOWER?!), but it was being used in another area part of the yard.

Two thoughts occurred to me and both addressed the fact that I was working too hard. When I started raking I was using the same amount of energy to rake a few leaves as I was using when trying to rake a pile of them. Just hard-raking the grass—you know what I’m talking about. 

After awhile my forearms started to ache so I naturally started easing up when raking a few leaves. It gave my arms some rest. I realized my mistake and, in some areas, raked more easily.

When I had a good-sized pile I’d scoop as many leaves as I could with the snow shovel. When carrying the loaded shovel palm up I noticed my wrist starting to hurt because it was in a severe position. (I know, I know…and I’m not going to use the I get the senior discount at Golden Corral excuse) 

So, I flipped my hand over so I was palm down and WALLAH! (See, I know you jumped on that one, too!! Yes, it’s VOILA!), no more pain.

Our bodies are often smarter than our heads and will show us, through pain, a better way.

What if we looked at life like that? 

Believe me, I’ve spent 50+ years in gyms and have been an Arnold fan forever so I understand the No Pain, No Gain ethos. But, even the most hardcore bodybuilders now understand that that was more PR than reality.

Let you body—let your life—show you the best way. What brings you happiness, joy, laughter and a higher vibration? 

Try that!

If it doesn’t work you can always go back to beating yourself up.

If you know someone who is working waaaaay too hard at life, send them this.

And, if you know someone who jumped on those few points that didn’t really matter, tell’em to lighten up.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

I'm Human...In Spite of What You've Heard

The last two blogs have touched on seeing the world through mistake-colored glasses and and playing misery poker.

Yesterday, I heard two words that--while they don't make everything fine--can put life into perspective.

I'm human.

Now...I realize there are some folks out there who would disagree with me being human but...well...that's them.

A friend recently paid me a wonderful compliment by telling me, "You're one of the most postive people I know."

Unfortunately, though, I have a bad habit at times of hammering myself for some of the things I do/have done in life. In the last 24 hours, though, I've been focusing on the I'm Human thought and it's slowed me down on the negativity.

Try it. You're probably thinking of something right now for which you've have been putting yourself down.

Think, "I'm human."

As Sister Helen Prejean, the anti-capital punishment activist said in her book, The Death of Innocents, "People are more than the worst thing they have done in their lives."

You're human.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Well, if you think that's bad....Are you playing Misery Poker?

How often do you play “misery poker”?

If you are unfamiliar with the term, misery poker, it’s when someone tells a tale of woe (“it’s just my life”) and another person says, “Well, if you think that’s bad, here’s what happened to me”…and they proceed to tell their tale. 

Whoever tells the most misery-laden story wins. The truth, though, is that the telling and listening to the negative story means both people lose.

Julia Rogers Hamrick, author of Choosing Easy World, writes about Easy World (where you do want to be) and Difficult World (where you don’t want to spend your life and thoughts).

She says, “When you tell someone all the details of your experiences in Difficult World, you are asking to stay in Difficult World and even go deeper into it! That can only generate more problems. Not only that, you are providing an invitation to the person you're talking to to dive on into DW, too, which doesn't just harm them, it also serves to strengthen DW's hold on you as well! So best to keep your DW stories to yourself. Better yet, just let them go.”
Science is beginning to prove Hamrick right. Amanda MacMillan, writing on, says, “You can actually catch a good mood or a bad mood from your friends, according to a recent study in the journal Royal Society Open Science.”

The new study adds to a growing body of research suggesting that happiness and sadness—as well as lifestyle and behavioral factors like smokingdrinkingobesityfitness habits and even the ability to concentrate—can spread across social networks, both online and in real life. 

The study’s lead author Robert Eyre, a doctoral student at (England’s) University of Warwick’s Center for Complexity Science, says, “The fact that these negative feelings do spread across networks does have important health implications.

Thankfully, the study also found that having friends who were clinically depressed did not increase participants’ risk of becoming depressed themselves. “Your friends do not put you at risk of illness,” says Eyre, “so a good course of action is simply to support them.”

However, while you may believe that listening to their complaints is evidence of being a good friend you should understand that too much of that kind of caring is not good for you; it drags you down.

Here are two suggestions I’ve implemented with friends to lower the misery poker factor: In one case, my friend and I agreed that when a misery tale gets started either of us can ask, “Is it helping you to tell this?” If it is, ok. If not, the person stops telling the tale. In the second case, my best friend and I have a deal that each of us gets 3 minutes to complain and then the other person says, “OK, time’s up, what are you going to do about this?”

Either solution keeps the misery-wallowing factor to a minimum and changes the gears to a pro-positive focus.

And, just so you don’t think today’s blog is an example of misery poker, researcher Eyre notes, “The good news from our work is that following the evidence-based advice for improving mood—like exercise, sleeping well and managing stress—can help your friends too.” 

Here’s the bottom line, hang out with happy people more often than sad, depressed and negative—because all those moods and attitudes are contagious.

If you have a friend who plays misery poker on a regular basis, share this with them.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Are You Looking Through Mistake-Colored Glasses

 The devotion I read yesterday hit on an interesting I am, sadly, too guilty of.

In the September issue of Science of Mind Magazine, Rev. Terry Drew Karanen wrote, "Sometimes people accuse others of looking at life through rose-colored glasses. However it seems that when we are besieged by the energy and thoughts of our past missteps and mistakes, we see life through mistake-colored glasses. Out ability to live openhearted and wholehearted lives is deeply impacted by this shut-down energy that is focused on our negative past.”

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Uh Oh, Watch the Crossbar

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting in my garage watching the world go by and, once again, life offered up a lesson worth learning.

There’s a greenway that runs through our neighborhood. One of the entrance/exits connects to the sidewalk across the street from The Tree House (what my friends call my home…the house is surrounded by trees). In good weather lots of folks take advantage of the greenway to get a little exercise.

It’s about 2:30 and a young guy—he looked to be about 30—came cruising down the sidewalk and attempted to make the right-angle turn onto the greenway. Evidently, weather and a lot of folks trying the same maneuver had worn away the dirt at the edge of the right-angle turn and there was a hole…which his front wheel nosed into.

Let me stop at this point and explain that, if you are a male, you probably cringed when I wrote that last line; because you know what’s coming. 

The young guy pitched forward and straddled the crossbar. He threw his head back, cursed the biking gods, and reached down to make sure everything was still in place.

Then..and this is where the lesson appeared…he turned and flipped The Bird at the hole.


Then he quickly looked around to see if anyone had seen him (I was hidden in a garage with a mosquito screen across the front across the street).

Now, I’m sure the more mature among you are mentally chastising Mr. Hurt Pride for his reaction. But, there are certainly times in life when it seems that unseen forces jump out and bite us. I don't see a thing wrong with lashing out at those forces as long as you keep it private and don’t get too crazy. 

It’s said that former president, Lyndon B. Johnson would exclaim, “Godfrey Daniels!” when he was upset. Very often, I use, “Sunny Beaches!!” Again, having a standard response such as those is not a bad thing.

What do you use to get back on track?

If you know someone who could use this message please Like and Share!

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.