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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Thousand Serious Moves



I feel like such a failure! Everything I touch crumbles in my hands. I'm not doing anything different!! Maybe, I should. I dunno! Gosh, I hate this.  It is so, so frustrating. 

There were more than a few moments of awkward silence. (This is usually the part where my guardian angel is off doing something else, right about the time I need her!)

Maybe you just hit a rough patch? Sorta like traveling in an airplane. The ride is as smooth as glass and suddenly some turbulence bounces you all around. As quick as it started it stops.

Jim Page was my supervisor in my first big person job. He told me not to "lunge" when you hit a rough patch.

Lunging happens when we decide whatever we are doing isnt working and grab for the first thing that looks shiny, flashy and give us a hug! We flail about and we make decisions without stopping to look at a road map. I mean, if things aren't going as planned, something has to be wrong, right?







When my son Matt was in Boy Scouts he wanted to earn an orienteering badge. He and I and a lotta other dads and scouts met one Saturday morning to learn how to use a compass. I'll never forget what the instructor shared with us.

He told us that when we began out journey we needed to rely on the co ordinates we had on our maps If  we varied even 1/1000 of a degree while walking in a straight line.................... we'd shortly be over 100 miles to the right or left of our final goal. We needed to trust our compass.

One scout raised his hand and asked what happened if you run into an obstacle. What did you do?

Stop, assess the situation and wait for the obstacle to clear it self.

But what if it's a big ol' tree? 

The instructor didnt skip a beat.

Rely on your compass. Go over under, around or through the obstacle and then get back on track.

We panic when things appear to be out of kilter and we lunge. We wake up one morning and find we are hundreds of miles from where we'd thought we'd be.

The title of this blog comes from a line in a poem by the poet Hafez titled Tripping Over Joy

In modern parlance it means "Stay the Course."

Living in the here and now and accepting what's in front of us makes the turbulence a bit more manageable

Monday, May 23, 2016

Beyond Sexy


"Do you realize the year is almost half over? How are you doing with your business goals?" There were a few groans, a chuckle or two. One person tried to hide their face. Another mouthed "The years half over?"


I began my one minute presentation at my weekly BNI group meeting this past Thursday with that question.

 Do you realize the year is almost half over? How are you doing with your business goals? 

We live in a world of hugs, high-fives and affirmations. We repeat mantras. focus on breathing and exhort ourselves to live in the present. Failure is as popular as success.

It's all rather sexy. 

And then, there are our goals. 

They're not.  

Years ago I worked with a small company whose owner came up with a  way to set and share his goals. He invited his employees to submit the three most important things they could do to make the company a success.

He tallied the list and approved it. Safety, Customer Service and On-Time Delivery. 

From then on each meeting began with a review of each goal area and ended with an action plan for the immediate future. It's how they measured success.  When you walked into the lobby of the company building, plain as day, for the whole world to see, dead center was a sign in a frame with those three goals.

It's what they were about. They knew what was expected of them when they walked through the door.

The owner?

Never attended a seminar in his life. He barely made it through high school.

That stuff, he told me. Is a waste of time. Tell people what you expect and they'll rise to the occasion. 

They did.

The short version?: When he purchased the company it was foundering. Five years later it had tripled it's business and was looking to acquire more land to add on. He'd quadrupled his employee base.

That's the foundation for success.

Goals aren't sexy but they remind us what and who we're about/

 Do you realize the year is almost half over? How are you doing with your business goals? 




Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Rest of the Room



I was so focused on what was right in front of me that I never saw the rest of the room. When I looked up there was so much more opportunity for me than I'd realized. 


There are times I forget how fortunate I am in this journey of mine. 

My work space changes daily, sometimes hourly. There is always a fresh face and perspective waiting.

Sometimes I don't recognize it until it's slipped past me - Like a gentle breeze.

"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them."


Henry David Thoreau wrote that observation a few hundred years ago. We rarely see the entire quote. The final phrase is conveniently left off. Maybe, it's because if we looked at it in its entirety, we'd have to face the fact that we leave this world with things unfinished or incomplete.

I don't like thinking about those sorts of things, do you?

I'd rather blame you or or the people who think, act and live differently than myself. I'd rather blame them for my lot in life.

It's easier.

It's easier not to acknowledge the rest of the room.

I can't sing your song.

You cannot sing mine.

There are times I forget how fortunate I am in this journey of mine.

When I sleep with the bedroom window open the sirens wake me up in the middle of the night. There's a large retirement community a mile or so away and the EMT's shuttle back forth.

Some nights I lie on my back and think how selfish I am. How my fear and anxiety prevent me from singing that song whose notes were written only for me and how somewhere, someone is robbed of its melody and insights.

There are times I forget how fortunate I am in this journey of mine.

A coaching client of mine made the initial observation in this posting and it struck a chord. Her rest of the room is Thoreau's going to the grave with the song still inside of us

Our rooms are rather large. In the corners and crannies lie those treasures, those songs that are written only for us.

That is what success sounds like - Your beautiful and often discordant song, crooned at the top of your lungs.

There are time I forget how fortunate I am in this journey of mine.