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...]

Don’t be an idiot!

The second I touched it, my heart sank.  I selected the 'Settings' icon.  The app hiccuped.  It looked like it might work.  Then it froze. I'm frustrated.  I wrote my post today.  I wrote it on my phone.  It's convenient that there's a Wordpress app for the iPhone.  There is an inconvenience - I have to copy the text of what I write to the clipboard before I save the draft.  If I don't the app might blow up.  I'll lose what I wrote. I forgot to copy the text today.  I lost what I … [Read more...]

Get better – Screw something up!

There are plenty of things I do that make me feel stupid (read "uncomfortable").  Those are the things that I usually learn the most from.  Especially socially- the conversation I strike up, the intro email I send or the relationship I build.  The only way I get better is by feeling dumb first. I don't want to screw up.  I want to get it right ... the first time.   But life's not like that.  I'm supposed to feel stupid when I do something for the first time.  After all, I don't know what I'm … [Read more...]

What if I fall? Get up. Start again.

Imogene told me she doesn't know how to ride a bike. Imogene is an incredible woman.  She is bright, bold, beautiful and strong.  She has overcome much.  Imogene has seen the gleam from a machete in the hand of a man who would kill her for her religious beliefs.  She has overcome and escaped dangerously abusive relationships.  Imogene leaped across continents and cultures with 2 young children.  Imogene works hard.  She protects and provides for 3 amazingly wonderful children.   She practices … [Read more...]

How do you learn how to ride a bike?

I was writing in a coffee shop last week.  Two guys are sitting next to me.  They're studying a book about project planning and execution. They discuss the process of innovation.  The topic:  ideation - idea generation without judgment.   Their conversation is driven by the statements:  "Here's a great idea." and "I'm skeptical of this."   These judging statements are the antithesis of the process they are exploring.  I'm not sure they're getting the concepts in the book.  They haven't … [Read more...]

I heard what you can’t do. What can you do?

Marcus* saw me coming.  He asked, "Do you help people with resumes?"  I said, "Not really.  I can - but that's not what I do."  The next moment, I was introduced to someone who needed work. I really didn't want to have the conversation. I spoke with my new friend, Stan*, about the work he was looking for. He'd prefer machine shop/metal working. That's where he has 20+ years of experience.  When I asked if he was open to other work, he said he was looking for anything. We talked a bit. … [Read more...]

Is your job beneath you?

I had a job as a mail clerk after college.  I worked 60 hours and made $17,000 - that included 5 hours of mandatory overtime (we weren't allowed a lunch hour).  There were times I would get down on myself.  I'd get caught up in what other people thought of me because of my job.  I tied my job to my value.  I felt the job was beneath me.  I'd get stuck and depressed when I lived in that place. I have friends who want and need work.  They won't take certain jobs though.  They don't want others … [Read more...]

The Problem with me is…

The problem with me is that I think that there's a problem with me.  I tell myself and others about that problem. And why I can't accomplish what I want to accomplish because of the problem. Where does that leave me?  Trapped ... with a problem and without the accomplishment the problem kept me from achieving. The problem is not with me.  The problem is what I'm saying. I am telling myself what I am not capable of.  I am telling myself that I screwed it up last time ... I'll probably … [Read more...]

The Cocoon of Can’t

I dwell in the cocoon of can't much more than I'd like. It's an easy place to hide from fear of rejection, failure, or success. I can't get this deal closed. I can't get in touch with customer. I can't find someone to help fix this problem. I can't finish this idea to publish. It's easier to keep writing ... shoot for perfect instead calling it good enough and shipping. It's easier to shoot off an email pretending like I truly engaged someone than it is to pick up the phone or show up at … [Read more...]

S/he’s just not that into you

It's funny how quickly I can turn to torturing someone.  I think that I'm much better about this than I used to be.  I remember when my friend, Bobby*, asked me about the Boot Camp where I work.  He asked, "What is it?"   Six minutes later, he had more glaze on his eyes than a double-dipped bearclaw.  Bobby thought he was pressing a button on the water fountain for a sip.  He didn't realize he was cranking open a fire hydrant.  I didn't realize Bobby was being polite.  Like many people, I love … [Read more...]