Are you asking for permission or wisdom?

Instead of asking 'What do you think I should do?" ask someone "How would you go about doing this?" It moves the person you're asking past the decision whether you should or shouldn't.  It gives them permission to talk about something they might not do themselves.  It gives them permission to imagine a little bit.  This stands a better chance of getting their wisdom and insight. You're not looking for permission - well, you might be ...  but you already have it (we talked about that … [Read more...]

What do you think I should do?

  What do you think I should do?  This is the question I've asked too many times (I still do).  Sometimes I didn't ask - but I let people answer for me anyway.  We ask this thinking that it will help us when we're trying to decide.  It usually won't. We might think we're asking to get a new idea or perspective.  But usually, you get an old idea or perspective.   We might think we're asking this to receive support and validation.  Often we receive neither.  This is the question you … [Read more...]

What do you want to leave behind?

Let's stick with the Lego theme.  I've written about building ideas ... ideas are the Lego blocks.  Putting the blocks together is the execution. Many of us get caught in the idea trap.  Accumulating ideas like a hoarder accumulates newspapers, cats and Elvis plates.  The ideas pile up until we're overwhelmed by them.  They're everywhere!  You can barely walk in your brain because there are so many ideas piled up and laying around. Most of my regrets are about what I haven't done. … [Read more...]

Are you getting caught in the idea trap?

  I remember stepping on the Lego piece with my bare foot.  I screamed, cursing.  A cubic, sharp pebble cutting into my foot.  It hurt! Yesterday, I talked about how building ideas is like playing with Legos.   "The ideas are the blocks.  Putting them together is the execution." If you're an "idea guy" (or gal), like me,  you have a bunch of blocks.  They're everywhere!  You're tripping on them, stepping on them, staring at them. Are you putting them together?  Are you addicted … [Read more...]

How do you win the battle of will?

I love feeding my girls.  They're 7 months old.  They don't know what they're doing.  It's a socio-science experiment.  What will they like?  What will they hate?  Will they clamp their mouth shut?  Will Ellie like one thing and Evie another? Jen and I treat every bite like it's fun and tasty.  "Mmmmmm", "Yummmyyyyy", "Yaaaaaaay".   We smile.  We pretend like we're chewing and swallowing. I learned quickly that it's not about them eating the food.  It's about enjoying the experience of … [Read more...]

Are you playing with Legos or with Jenga?

  Building ideas is like playing with Legos.  It's not like playing Jenga. Your ideas are the blocks.  Putting them together is the execution. The nice thing about Legos ... You can build one thing, take it apart and build something completely different.  You have the flexibility to innovate and pivot.  You can go back and then forward again. Put your ideas into action.  If it's not right, take them apart and put them together differently.  Building ideas is not about keeping … [Read more...]

Here today, gone …

  It's easy to get caught up in writing something well.  We worry about each piece being laid properly.  The concern is that everything else will tumble down if we don't do it right.  This presents a problem.  You become a slave to the form instead of the servant to your idea. I can always go back and correct the form after the idea is born onto paper (or screen).  I can't recapture the thought sparked in the ether that vanished into thin air while I was looking for where to put a … [Read more...]

What if you asked differently?

  What if I fail? One the most common reason we don't take action is the fear of "what if". What if they say no What if it doesnt go well What if they don't like me What if they ask questions and I don't know the answer What if I look dumb Here are some more "what ifs" to ask: What if you look back in 10 years and your in the same place you're in now What if you become irrelevant What if you have nobody to blame but yourself By avoiding the first set of what … [Read more...]

A picture’s worth a thousand words

  We think in pictures.  If someone asks you to think of a million dollars, you think of a pile of cash or a filled out check.  There might be some language written on the check ... but the language is part of a picture. There's a simple reason for this.  Language isn't real.  Words are an invention. We use words to represent the pictures we see in our head.  People we speak to paint a picture in their head based on the words we use. Many of us don't use words well.  They're … [Read more...]

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...]