How much are you like a lab rat?

I had a theory 6-7 years ago. I still do. The theory is that we compulsively text message, instant message and Facebook (FB wasn't around at the time for adults)because they tap into our inner lab rat. These communication tools exploit our inner pleasure/reward system. With each ding, buzz or Like, we get a little burst of dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter released in response to things like cocaine, crack, sex, deep laughter, etc. Each response we received provides validation. … [Read more...]

Dictate the future

I asked the group to close their eyes.  I suggested they think about a day in the future (You can do this, too).  I guided them with some questions. "Go six months out.  Create a picture as vivid and real as possible.  What goals have you achieved?  What big wins are you celebrating?  What is happening on this day 6 months out that isn't happening today? What clients are you talking to?  What deals have you closed?  What have you created?  What's your business model?  What's happening with … [Read more...]

Who do you relate to?

The word relationship is built on the root:  relate.  So a relationship is based up how we relate to others. When you build relationships do you relate to the other person or do you relate to yourself while talking to another person? You can't meet someone where they are when you don't relate to them for who they are.   How do expect to sell them, support them, lead them or love them when you aren't even talking to them? Stop talking to yourself.   Build a relationship instead.  It will … [Read more...]

Like a moth to a flame.

I rushed to the lamp to turn it off.  I had heard a zap.  I smelled something burn.  I looked around.  I saw smoke waft from my lamp.  It was a 6 foot tall torchiere (Think a tall skinny lamp).  The lamp had a halogen bulb.  It burned white hot.  I tilted it so I could see what happened.  There is was.  A charred moth.  I turned the lamp back on.  The moth finished burning.  The smell went away.  Once and a while, I'd hear the zap.  I'd look for the plume of smoke.  I'd smirk and shake my head. … [Read more...]

How to stop finishing last

Nice is a four letter word.  When someone tells me I'm nice, I'm doing something wrong.  I'm not saying something that needs to be said.  Or I'm being a door mat and getting walked on.  I don't want to be a nice guy.  I'd rather be a good guy.  Nice is not a saving grace.  Good is. People seen as highly disagreeable make nearly $10,000 more per year than those seen as highly agreeable. Does that mean you need to become an ass to make more money?  No. It means you need to start adding … [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...]

Road to nowhere

I drove this morning.  There's a good chance that you did, too.  Did you drive on a road?  Yeah, me too.  The roads I drove on have been around for several decades.  I don't know when they were built.  I'm pretty sure someone built them.  I didn't pay for the roads to be built.  But I'm pretty sure that someone did.   Life would be really different if they weren't built.  Businesses would have a hard time making money.  People would have a hard time getting to work.  There's a pretty valuable … [Read more...]

Remembering a friend

    I lost a friend today.  I walked in to the gym this afternoon.  A placard was standing there.  It had his picture in it.  It  was him.  He lost a battle with cancer.  He'd fought for 3 years. I met him once, 3 years ago.  He came to my wedding.  I don't remember saying more than 5 words to him.   I remember his face.  It shone with joy and kindness. I was planning on writing about the frustration, anger and disappointment we create for ourselves when we live in … [Read more...]

Redefine accountability

Early in our marriage, Jen told me that she wanted the truth about everything.  I'd give her the truth.  She'd get angry and react.  I'd stop giving the truth.  She'd get angry and react. I told her that if she wanted me to be committed to revealing the truth, I needed her to be committed to not giving a negative reaction.   I'm human.  I will take the path of least resistance.  My wife being pissed at me is not that path.  Lying is. An account is defined as a report or description of an … [Read more...]

Live for what’s at stake

I love steak.  I wouldn't know I loved it if I hadn't ever smelled or tasted a steak.  I wouldn't love steak because I wouldn't know steak. Jen was telling me about a girl she's friendly with.  The friend comes off as aloof and distant.  Jen's learning that the girl thinks that people won't want to talk to her if she talks.  So she doesn't talk.  People think she's aloof and distant.   They don't talk to her.  She gets what she expects.  She doesn't get what she wants or needs. I'm that … [Read more...]