How to keep priority #1 – Communicate.

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.

An Introvert Living an Extrovert Life

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.

Quit Quibbling

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?

Hurry to Unhurry

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.  

Sprint to Problems!

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.

Learning to Li(o)ve

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.

Not Alone

not-aloneAlone.  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!

Under The Holiday Pressure

under-the-pressure-1Feeling 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!

Thank You Note Writers

ty-cardsThank you is such a simple statement but it means so much in many ways.  Yet today’s culture seems to have forgotten how to express those two very important words.

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!

Brevity

brevityTwenty-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?

Sound Reminders

sound-remindersSound Reminders.     Carrying around the weight of the world on our shoulders can feel like pulling a thousand train cars behind our tired little engines.   Timely sound reminders loosen the load.   This Average Joe needs every trick to keeping my mind from becoming overwhelmed, I discovered a new one worth sharing.

Years ago when screen savers were a requirement to prevent damage to your computer screen  I would type in

A Bird on a Wire – Law of Power Position

Bird On A Wire Rom 8-32Some things are puzzling and difficult to understand.  Like, how is it that a bird can sit on a hot electric wire and not get fried?  After being zapped, again, by my neighbors’ electric fence I have gotten to the stage of not wanting to touch any fence, at all.  Thus the mystery of a Bird on a Wire, sitting calmly and alive, always makes me double think on the matter when I see it.

Science was not my best subject by any means.  In fact, in my high school days, I found a lot of it to be theoretical hogwash, and even if it was true, I did not understand why anyone would care other than science teachers, and later, my wife who loves the topic?  It is like trying to figure out the meaning of  Bird on a Wire by one of my favorite fireside song artists Leonard Cohen.      (to get in the mood for this blog, you have to play it while reading)        If you’d also like to know the real reason why a bird does not get zapped while sitting on an electric line, read this MIT article on the topic.

If you remember your old science classes all we need to know about the laws of power transfer, or as  a seventh grader said with a smirk about the bird on a wire – duhh!, is a closed loop.

It’s all about the connections they’re making—or, more importantly, not making.

The Day my son Cory died.

CoryTriggers set off memories,  sometimes good ones and sometimes not so good ones.  A picture was posted of a recent Cleveland Indians game with a fan wearing a throwback uniform of one of my old favorite baseball players, Cory Snyder.  It brought back memories of the day my son Cory died.*

I recall back in 1988 being so excited that our next try for child number two was going much smoother than the first (which had turned into an early term miscarriage).    We were now at week 16 and the doctors said you have crossed that hump.   We could not wait to see the results of the ultra-sound.  The pound pound pound of the heartbeat increased our heartbeats to our hearts being filled with joy.

We just had to know, so the doc zoomed in to the middle to find out, is this a boy or a girl.

Pointing Out Point Provers

PointProversWhat a terror filled summer this has been in America.  Topping it off have been power players proving points at the expense of other people, creating even more disunity.  Ted Cruz, John Kasich, President Obama, BLM, Snipers, ISIS attacks and the latest from NBA Commissioner Adam Sterling usurping his position to dictate law to the state of North Carolina, are just a few examples.   How does an Average Joe deal with actions that bring on outrage made by ‘Point Provers’?  Regardless of our viewpoint on all the tough subjects, should we just sit and do nothing and say nothing?  Alternatively, should we turn over  tables and shout about our dismay?

Ignoring Imperfections

My Odd shoesIgnoring imperfections can be very hard for us perfectionists.   I pride myself on doing things right and being efficient with every second of the day.  That trait creates horror though; when I mess up.  My wife was disgusted with me as I packed my travel bag for this business trip to Dallas this week.  It took less than a minute total!    It takes her days to pack for a vacation; I love to show her up with my tremendous perfect system of packing for travel.  I proudly tossed the travel bag back in the closet after filling it with three nights of clothes and certainly everything I would need for my business meetings and even a dip in the pool.

After arriving at the hotel I planned for my upcoming dinner meeting and all others by hanging my shirts and pants in the closet with the sock and undies hung with each shirt that would be needed for each wake up call. I reached through the bag and found the belt, right where it should be, and paired it with the shoes I would set on the dresser ready to go.  Blood rushed to my head and a taste of my Italian sub from the Charlotte airport Quiznos popped in my mouth upon the discovery of: ONE BLACK AND ONE BURGUNDY SHOE!   How could I screw up like that?

Ask and you will receive. Don’t and you won’t.

Ask and you shall receiveAsk and you will receive, don’t and you won’t!   We all hate bills and there is nothing worse than a monthly bill that includes a letter with excuses explaining why they are increasing fees.    Ever wish you could erase those increases?   Ask, and you will receive.

We all love to hear the word yes to our requests.  This past week I heard yes from two places where I am the customer and they sent the letter stating I WILL be paying more for their services.  My initial thoughts were, this stinks, every time I turn around somebody is taking more out of my wallet.  There is nothing I can do about it.

Defeating Defeat – Whilst Dealing with Doubt

Dealing with DoubtThe definition of Defeated – de·feat·ed – having been beaten in a battle or other contest. “the defeated army”,   demoralized and overcome by adversity.

The definition of Doubt – to be uncertain in opinion or belief; to be undecided, to be inclined to disbelief, to hesitate.

I started off this week feeling pretty defeated. First my football team lost in the Super Bowl, so that didn’t help. On the job front, my inbox and to-do list was overwhelming every portion of my mind. How can I ever get all of these demands completed? And even if I fulfill all of them, the odds of seeing positive results seem extremely slim. The negative vibes can sure leave one feeling very defeated at times, ever feel that way?

Defeating Defeat – (Final Sales Meeting Post)

josh-normanIt amazes me how critical people, who have not made it anywhere in life, so easily criticize the reactions of how others respond in defeat in a major event.   We all know the results of the Super Bowl now and those who won celebrated to the max and those who tasted defeat had various reactions including one of the Panthers players ‘breakdown’ pictured above. Losing is hard to take, all the more so, when you are so close to being #1. Having a mindset of winning internally, is a worthy battle, but a virtue we all can benefit from, it takes Defeating Defeat.

How much would you pay to PLAY in Super Bowl 50?

superbowlfieldTickets to see Super Bowl 50 are the most expensive in Sports History! See article here    Just to watch a football game, in a seat and be part of the experience to be at the game,  people are spending thousands of dollars. How much would you pay to be there?

I have had the fortune of being at a few championship games.  I hate to admit it, but yes,  it was worth every penny.   Although it is a bit hilarious to note how much money you pay for a seat, that you barely sit in for most of the game, because people stand for the whole game.

Imagine though, if the head coach of your very favorite team, soccer, basketball, baseball, any sport, offered you the opportunity to be on the field for the super game. Only a few with really big bucks or close ties to someone in ownership gain that opportunity to stand on the sidelines. If given the opportunity to be on the field standing on the sidelines with the team,  How much would you pay?