Does creating your priority list cause you anxiety? At times, my to-do lists are overflowing with a million things. I struggle determining which item is the top priority which creates worry in-and-of-itself. Now that I have moved into ‘semi-retirement’ I finally found the most important way of How to keep priority #1 – Communicate.
After my wife became a vegetarian, we have had some awesome healthy meals (side dishes for me). The other day she made a fantastic organic pasta dish that smelled like heaven. As I was salivating over the stove, my 19-year-old son walked in the room holding his nose. He loudly exclaimed, what is that horrible smell? I could not believe the same fragrance produced two very different smells. It brought to mind the opposite reactions I received from varying people to the announcement of my early semi-retirement, One Fragrance, Two Smells.
The ‘terror attack’ of 9-11 seared a memory that permanently changed the lives and minds of many. Post-traumatic experiences burn a scar on the mind with both a pain-filled fear and a hate towards the terror inducer. This average mind and that of all in our family were rocked in the same year of 9-11. It was forever branded as ‘3-11’ day by we who were touched by the bullet of a bully. Indeed, it was a family’s worst nightmare on that horrible evening of March 11, 2001. Sixteen years later, I tell the story of the biggest lesson gained and how to be sure to Put an End to Bullying.
Ever take one of those personality tests and think, that is not who I am? Tests are taken between grade school, job interviews, and ‘self-improvement’ conferences supposedly determining your inner make-up. Despite every test indicating I was an ‘introvert’ I opted to ignore the test results. Somehow, for the past thirty+ years, I became An Introvert Living an Extrovert Life.
I love animals, especially dogs. My favorite part of the day is greeting time. Regardless of all other circumstances, they are always happy and excited to see me, it is impossible not to share in their joy. Every morning I look forward to waking them up and opening the door for the morning relief. So much so that I fix my coffee first and get set to go outside with them to watch them excitedly, romp around the yard. Yesterday things were going great on the usual romp, until, they saw something in the woods. I questioned who would appear, a Bad dog or Good dog.
It seems that no matter what anyone says or does lately it sets off a media storm and some average Joe’s cannot hold back spewing their anger laced opinions. ‘I am right, you are wrong’. ‘I am better than you are or smarter than you’. Who is the greatest (or worst)? The division amongst all parties has produced far more enemies than friends. I had a quick pre-flight lunch stop at Quizno’s this week that led me to stop, think, and be inspired too – Quit Quibbling.
We all desire to be first, how would you feel about being better than first?
The modern way of work has been accelerated by technology and tools to further increase productivity. Expectations for exorbitant quantities of tasks are expected to be excellent and expedited. Deadlines have eliminated the word relax and there is no excape! (sic) If I could start my years of employment over I would have implemented a secret formula. The secret; Hurry to Unhurry.
Work before play that is what they say. There is much merit to getting a job done first and then relax or have fun with your mind free of worries, afterwards. But, when deadlines loom the pressure builds.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is hiding when there is a crisis or problem. We spend countless hours and dollars trying to convince people how good our product or solution is, and that we care about them. Yet some hide or run from an issue making the situation worse when the wisest maneuver is to SPRINT straight TO PROBLEMS.
Post releasing a deep personal story a day ago I find myself evaluating; from what position did I write that story? Being Martin Luther King Day the thoughts flooded my feelings wondering, how he felt about those who hated him as he lived his life seeking to bring freedom and fairness for all. What did those, even of his own race, with contrasting views say and do? Were they operating from a position of hurt their entire lives? How awful must that have been?
Are you willing to go where no one has ever gone before? Jumping out of planes, climbing mountains, skiing down the deepest slope … are you kidding me? Ever since my first flip on a trampoline in grade school, I found I am NOT the daredevil type. Perhaps you are like this Average Joe; born with anxiety issues that plague 40million of us Americans. The last thing I want to do is something bold, daring, dangerous and certainly not do something that has never been done before. However, on this first day of 2017 I tell why I am ready to step into Uncharted Territory.
Christmas brings a time of reflection as we see the picture of a baby born in a manger surrounded by animals in a stable. The ‘Christ’ian belief is that God came down from heaven, was born as a baby and grew to be a man who came to show us how to live on earth as God intended us to live. He portrayed love. We learned that ultimately that love was displayed when the man willingly sacrificed his life as he was crucified at the hands of ruthless people. Each December 25th around the world people commemorate the day of His birth and give gifts to one another as we try to learn to live with the same love that, God in the form of man, showed us how to live. The baton was passed to each of us and today we walk on earth Learning To Live, somehow with the same type of Love.
Alone. By Myself. I am on my own. Lonely. Words that no one likes to say to themselves. They are ones that bring sadness and discouragement and echo in our mind. We wish to shout out, ‘do not leave me alone, where are you, I need you’. Especially around the holidays, this can a depressing time if feeling lonely. When it comes to sharing the same feeling, we are not alone!
Feeling Under the Holiday Pressure? Pressure handling is a trait some take pride in, have you ever heard yourself say ‘the more stress, the better I perform?’. I like to say ‘that’s me’. The other day I found myself stuck in bed, so filled with anxiety from demands from other people, I just wanted to pull the covers over my head and stay there the rest of the day. I was frozen stiff with stress oozing from every pore. Demands for our time and money are a constant. At what point do we say, ENOUGH!
Sometimes I need to hear things backwards to fully grasp the meaning of words and phrases. While sitting at a ‘four-way stop’, where the traffic was ridiculously long, I complained how dumb it is to make every car stop at an intersection. A thought popped in my head and made me laugh aloud, what greater chaos there would be if the intersection was a four-way GO.
Thanksgiving Day is a great reminder for our need to be thankful for all we have received. It is sad however, that we need a holiday to remind ourselves of what we should be doing, always. Henry Van Dyke quotes:
‘Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.’
The FBI! I dreamed to one day be like my neighbor next door who packed a gun under his suit coat and had a shiny FBI badge in his wallet. I loved taking care of his dog as he was off guarding another important dignitary. One day it was Bob Hope, another Vice President Spiro Agnew. I helped him carry sealed boxes from his black car to the kitchen table for another big case to review. Protecting important people, carrying out justice and helping people to be safe, that was my dream job.
I took his advice and joined the Army to be a Military Policeman as soon as my senior year ended. I did not heed his advice to avoid the justice system though, he said, if you want to change the world, it sure is not going to happen working in the criminal justice system. I did not understand.
Perhaps it is social media; after receiving 64 Happy Birthday’s who wants to write a single thank you note for all of them? Instead we write one post and say: ‘Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes’. Perhaps it is because stamps are too expensive and a box of cards breaks the budget. Or, some argue that the digital age has sequestered people so much that they have forgotten how to communicate. Or perhaps, no one has taught, what I will cautiously call the younger generation, just how important the words, THANK YOU, really are!
Twenty-six hours of meeting time from pickup from our clients corporate jet to drop off. This is our one and only chance to introduce them to sixty different people and cover twenty-five different topics. Every word and moment during lunch, dinner, before and after cocktails, breakfast and back-to-back blocks of presentations must be concise and to the point. Each second in the car rides must show our best and avoid negative issues, of which there are a few, as we want this brief meeting time to be ALL positive. We have $millions in business to keep and must find new opportunities to make it grow.
Whew, this meeting was the crux of stress for the past four days for this Average Joe. Brevity is not my gift, but it certainly is one of importance in this day and age where everyone is cramming their schedules full. How do we forge relationships when tied down with a time squeeze squirting its innards out during every visit?
I was only six at the time vividly remembering sitting in the crouch position on top of the barn, my brother at the bottom saying, ‘come on jump already, just jump, tuck, and roll!’ Fifty years later I’m laying on the ground being thankful I remembered that dumb idea, but great advice.
We were playing a game of team hide and seek, with the big boys. My brother let me tag along and he found the best hiding place, up on the roof of our friends barn. It was easy climbing up, at least for my brother who hopped on a garbage can (back when they were metal) and scaled up the gutter the last few feet. I too climbed on the rusty can but needed an arm pull to get all the way on the roof. We watched and laughed as everyone ran by looking for us as we watched them like ants scurrying around trying to find us.