Don’t melt away, snowflake

One is the loneliest number that there ever was.  Sometimes I get trapped in my head thinking of the impact I want to have on the world.  I crave a more meaningful and significant life.  Whenever I'm stuck in this place, I am alone.  I don't see myself connected to others. Nobody has ever accomplished anything in this world alone. Any change in the world you admire required someone to work with others (even if indirectly).  They made the invisible idea in their head real to others. A … [Read more...]

Reach out and touch someone

  More people are watching porn than ever before. A recent poll showed that 79% of people are consuming porn nowadays. It was in the 30% range in 1983. The studies also show people are having less sex. They are masturbating more. We are a lazy species. We will do the thing that costs us the least. Contact and direct interaction are expensive. They require real-time emotional engagement. They require processing of non-verbal nuance. They require empathy and awareness. This is one … [Read more...]

How are you preparing for the parade?

We looked at each other.  The babies crying in the background.  "Should we respond?" We created a routine to help the babies learn to sleep.  Sometimes that meant letting them cry for a few minutes.  It was hard.  Very hard. On Christmas Eve, we woke up.  The babies slept through the night.  9 weeks old (5 weeks based on full term).  Mission accomplished! I'd mention we wanted the babies to sleep through the night as our Christmas present.  People would scoff at me.  They told me I … [Read more...]

Are you supposed to be here?

One of my favorite movies is Clerks.  It's clever, raw and funny.   There are two lead characters.  One writes his own rules for reality.  The other allows reality's rules to be written for him.  The second guy, Dante, keeps muttering "I'm not even supposed to here." through the movie.  He's torn between what he wants to do and what he feels he's supposed to do. I am most miserable when I think in 'Supposed to'   "I'm supposed to get a merit increase."  "They're supposed to refill my drink." … [Read more...]

Where do you belong?

I played bocce ball for the first time last week.  It's hosted by the Italian Club of Dallas (Yes, there is one!).  It was a blast.  I learned a lot about life that night. We played at a country club.  Somehow someone convinced a country club in Texas to convert their clay tennis courts to bocce ball courts.  That's influence! We were playing with one of the members of the club.  At some point, he asked if I was a member.  I said no.  He said, "We need to change that." So often we ask … [Read more...]

Judge a book by it’s cover.

Peter* said to me, "You're courageous and enthusiastic.  Your energy inspired me.  I've accomplished things I wouldn't have started before."   We were performing an exercise providing others with evidence-based encouragement.  I was humbled.  I was honored.  I was confused. I didn't view myself as courageous and enthusiastic.  I didn't think of myself as inspiringly energetic.  I had hardly any interaction with Peter in our 7 weeks working together.   Yet I had this influence on him. Peter … [Read more...]

WTF! If you don’t show it, they don’t know it.

Jen was standing in my arms crying.  She sobbed, "It was so beautiful.  I couldn't imagine it just going to just anybody on Craigslist." My wife, Jen and I are expecting twins.  We've been amazed at the outpouring of support from others.  Friends have showered us with what was once part of their journey of having babies.  We're so grateful that our friends and acquaintances are so generous in spirit (I apologize for Thank You notes that you haven't seen yet). We were offered a crib.  The … [Read more...]

WTF! Communicate Effectively…

A few weeks ago, I forwarded a Harvard Business Review "Management Tip of the Day" to a friend.    The tip was about ensuring effective communication.  Effective communication often means successful execution.  Poor communication often translates into poor execution.  Effective communication costs a little extra time.  Poor communication costs a lot of money. My friend is gifted at boiling things down to their most essential parts.  He's mastered Einstein's ideal:  make everything as simple … [Read more...]

You’ll never know unless you ask.

You're not so smart that you know all the answers.  Those people around you aren't as stupid as you think they are. I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. -Galileo Galilei Start asking questions of those who work for you and around you.  Do the same with those people you live with.   They may surprise you, make you money, or make your life easier.  That would be nice.  Wouldn't it? You'll never know unless you ask...  (Right, Mom?) … [Read more...]

Ship, Partner

I was standing on top of a 40 foot cliff.  It was my turn to jump.  I hate heights.   My friends were calling for me to jump.  Too late to turn back now.  I launch into a head first dive.  My gut gets that feeling of having a wet towel twisted inside.  Then I hit the water.   Wooooo!   I made it.   If I was alone on that cliff's edge I don't think I would have jumped.  The encouragement, support and, maybe some friendly goading, got me to take the leap ... to take action. I meet with a group … [Read more...]