Are You Free? The Captivity of Choice

I spent 2 days in Huntsville.  Standing on concrete.  Hands through the bars that secure 7'x9' rooms containing two bunks, a small seat and a steel toilet.  I heard stories from men in their  20s  through their 80s.  Black, latino, white. All putting their faith ... possibly in blind desperation ... in God.  A Vietnam vet who claims innocence.  A recurring petty criminal.   A man who made a mistake in judgement and is desperate to restore what is probably already lost. I sat in the mess hall. … [Read more...]

The Top Reason Your 3 Year Old Is Terrible

http://gty.im/185664072   She was writhing naked around on the bed.  She was excited with a huge smile on her face.   My heart rate was rising. We had to be somewhere in 20 minutes.  We were running out of time.  She didn't care. I was frustrated.  She wouldn't cooperate.  Why would she?  I was cramming her into a modern construct that is meaningless from a biological evolutionary perspective. 3 year olds show us how we've gone astray in our attempts to scale and find meaning. Jen, … [Read more...]

4 Types of People, 2 Get Things Done – Which are you?

  There were two girls climbing concrete ramps that run along the side of a set of  stairs.  They were 7 to 10 years old.  One asks the mom to join her.   The mom said,   "No, that's for children." Doing silly things that might be a little dangerous, fun and/or make you stand out as a fool is for children?  What's for adults?   Being serious, fitting in, avoiding danger, risk or fun? I battle the urge to control my kids.  I try not to tell them not to do things.  Constantly, I see … [Read more...]

How Tired Are You, Really? 3 ways to know

  On any given day of the week the alarm goes off.  The alarm is either my phone or my kids.  The first thought that floats on the cloudy surface of my mind is, "I'm so tired.  I need a break".  I haven't even started.  Yet I need a break already? I go to the gym three days of the week.  It's a group workout.  I sign-up in advance.   I groan when the alarm goes off.  Then I roll out of bed.  I have to be somewhere.  Class starts at 6am.  After my first set, I'm fired up.  I get … [Read more...]

The Key To Going From Try to Do

  Give someone 24 choices of jam... They'll  taste a lot of them.  They'll enjoy them. More often than not, they won't commit to them. They don't buy.   6 choices of jam and the commitment rate jumps.  Many more buy with fewer choices We've bought into the lie that choice equals freedom. A diner offers a 12 page menu.  You can choose from Hungarian goulash to spanikopitas to bagels and lox to burgers.  It takes long to decide and you're likely to second guess your choice - - - … [Read more...]

Are you too busy? Ask these 4 questions.

  Steve asked his son, Stone, if he wanted to go and do something together.  Stone said, "I can't.  I'm busy."   Steve went on about his business.  Stone did, too.  An opportunity to connect lost. We're all too busy.  We all have a reason to keep doing what we're doing.  The work in progress is uninterruptable.   Our tendency is to assume that what we're doing now --- no matter what it is --- is too important to stop. Responding to e-mail.  Creating a Powerpoint deck.   Taking a … [Read more...]

The Rule of the Exception

  I just wrote an email of encouragement to my wife, Jen.  We started this habit 8 years ago.  Once a week, on Wednesday, we email each other encouragement.   There's enough encouragement to make a book. The encouragement is a great way for us to refocus on what we like about each other, love about each other and want for each other.  It's a great way ... until that day that's too busy.  Those times when I say to myself, I can't right now ... I'll get to it later.  The days when I lay … [Read more...]

What’s the Best Time of Day to Water Tomatoes?

  We pulled into the driveway.  We got out of the truck and went to visit with our neighbors, who were in their driveway. Jen said, "The tomato plant is drooping.  Looks like it needs water." I went to the hose, turned it on, dragged it over and started watering.  It was the middle of the day.  Heat was at peak.  A new conversation started. "Is this the best time to water the tomatoes?"   "It's pretty hot."  "I think you're supposed to water it in the morning or night."   I … [Read more...]

Learn This Easy Magic Trick. It’s quick!

  I walked in the door to the office this morning.  Joe, the security guard, waved and smiled.  I caught him in the corner of my eye, over my shoulder.  I turned and waved back.  A smile crossed my face.  I realized this was a ritual that started my day with pleasure.  It was small.  But valued. I stopped, turned around, and walked to Joe.  I opened the glass door to the small reception area where Joe sits.  I told Joe how much I appreciated his wave and smile in the morning.  I … [Read more...]

Lost in Distraction: Do you have blinders on?

  Donald asked me a question.  He's working on a project scheduled to complete in the next 5 weeks.  I started to answer his question.  Then I went on.  I told him about stuff happening in 8, 10, 16 weeks from now.  Don asked a follow-up question ... he was confused.  Don was thinking only in terms of the June project.  I screwed up.  I confused him by showing him a picture broader than he was looking for.   The only thing he cared about was the June project delivery. Don had blinders … [Read more...]