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Disposable Days

disposableFor some today will be totally forgettable. Just another day filled with meaningless activities or mindless entertainment.

For some today is the most important day of their life, a turning point, a course correction, a pinnacle.

For some today is the end.

Some will live today savoring every moment, capturing every word or glance or feeling to relive in memory a thousand times over.

Some will say words they wish they never had and other have unspoken words that will remain that way.

For the young there is the illusion that there are plenty of days ahead.

For the old there is the reality that there are more days behind.

While everyday does not have to be packed with people and activity and meaning it is far too precious to be just tossed away because it carries the label….Monday.

One Day

lsu-lsu-football-26603825-550-256Half of the college football teams who played today won.

And half lost.

But most college football players spent today wishing they were on the field instead of home watching on tv.

The chance to play comes to each of us every day.

Some days we will win.

Some days we will lose.

But everyday we have a chance to play.

Each and every one of those young athletes will tell you playing comes with hard work and dedication and, yes, some pain.

But they have the heart for the game and they would rather lose on the field than watch from the sidelines any day.

Do you have the heart?

Are you ready to do the hard work?

Are you dedicated?

Are you ready to take the field, win or lose, and play your best?

 

How To Loose 100 Lbs in 24 Hours

Got your attention? Good.

100lbs_balloonsI challenge you to get out your bathroom scales.

Put it in the middle of your living room.

Put a cardboard box on it.

Now fill the box with stuff you don’t need anymore.

How much does it weigh?

Now put a large garbage bag on the scale.

Dump in all of the junk that no one wants.

How much does it weigh?

Not up to 100 lbs yet?

Keep going.

One box and one bag at a time.

Now take those boxes to Goodwill and take the garbage bags to the curb.

You can loose 100 lbs in 24 hours.

Go on. You know you want to.

Cookie Cutters…

images (5)are great if you are baking cookies. But not if you are being creative. By it’s very nature creativity is not uniform. It is individual. Even if it starts with a common theme or media or even a pattern. Creativity takes on the perspective, the strengths and the flaws of the creator. It is the uniqueness, the rarity, the personal that makes it beautiful and valuable.

Right now on the internet there are millions of bloggers who write on every topic imaginable. They add their experience, their perspective, their opinions and they take the collective risk to hit the publish button and set their words free. Some have thousands of followers and others write day after day without a single comment or maybe even a single reader.

But each is finding their own way, each is writing their own words. You can get a template for your blog. You can add the recommended plugins and widgets. You can follow the “3 points and a picture” format. But what is totally you is the words you chose and the words you chose to omit.

There are a couple of dozen bloggers I read regularly but none of their blogs is as important to me as mine is. I can read their words but only I can write mine.

Who wants a cookie?

Liver and Onions

Years ago as a single mother I would save up enough to take my son out for dinner. He would get to choose whatever he wanted from the menu while I was doing the same. When the orders were placed he told the server what he had decided on. It was his choice and he expressed it clearly. However, when the meals arrived he would look at his plate with the food he had chosen and look at my plate and the food I had chosen. Suddenly, he didn’t want what he had asked for. He wanted what I had ordered. Since I wasn’t about to waste food or money I would trade with him. Until one night I ordered what really sounded good to me. Liver and onions. It came with mashed potatoes and peas. He no longer wanted to trade.

liver-and-onions-with-spuds-and-gravyThe thing is I didn’t order liver and onions because he would eat it if he didn’t like his own order. I ordered liver and onions because I like liver and onions. It really was what I wanted. No object lesson. I didn’t suffer through my dinner. I enjoyed it. He sat eating his dinner amazed that I actually liked my dinner. The waitress had asked us both same question, “What would you like?” and we both had answered. We both got what we asked for. I was very satisfied with my decision and my dinner. He had to accept that what he asked for and got was good.

How often do you want to trade with someone because you are not satisfied with what you asked for?

How often are you bewildered by someone being happy with a decision that is not your taste?

How do you like your liver and onions?

Power of 24

This morning I posted on another website I blog for using the headline construction technique often recommended to catch the readers attention. I can now testify it works. Maybe it worked too well.

download (3)What I thought was a positive update to a situation had two distinct and opposite responses. The first group panicked thinking no one would take the situation as direly as they had just yesterday. The second group saw the remaining need and offered direct and useful options to meet that need.

The good news is it had impact. Now if I can just hone my skills to get a more consistently positive reaction and action from my readers.

 

 

 

Put The Roller Down

I’ve heard a lot of disrespectful conversations lately. From the evening news to the high school parking lot, there is no shortage of people who do not like the way others are doing their jobs and who are very vocal about it.

Fullscreencapture923201092157PM1-580x360Almost 30 years ago I was working with a mentor who called me up and  fired me. She didn’t think I was taking the mentorship seriously enough. I did not put the phone down before calling someone else to mentor me. I am forever grateful to Sharon Andrews for not only answering her phone when I called but for agreeing to take me on.  Sharon was a very active woman and I knew I could learn a lot from her. The lesson that stands out the most vivid for me happened one day while we were painting an office. Sharon was the head of the women volunteers working on our new church building. We had gotten to the point of painting offices. Sharon and I had just finished putting the first coat of paint on the room that would be the staff break room when a gentleman I had never seen before came in and said “You missed a spot.” Sharon handed him her paint roller and said “Go for it”. She winked at me. I put down my roller and we went to lunch. When we had come back the man had found so many spots that he had completely painted the second coat of paint on the whole room!

We had every intention of painting a second coat but because he interjected himself into the situation before we were done several things happened. He unexpectedly found a paint roller in his hand and the authority to fix the situation himself. We were relieved of our task. The room got painted. Sharon taught me a great deal by handing off that paint roller. She knew the goal was to get it painted. She was not locked into painting it herself and was able to delegate it to someone who saw the job needed work. Then she was able to walk away and let him do it.

This week I walked away from a situation. I put my roller down and walked out. I don’t expect this particular room to look any different for my absence. There were plenty of people arguing about how to finish painting it and while leadership was noticeably lacking opinions were not.  I have no doubt the room will be finished. I just don’t need to be there or be part of the process. They are in the middle. I’m sure it will all be fine when they are done.

Thanks, Sharon, for teaching me how to let go. We need to get together for lunch soon.

 

Change Your Day in 3 Easy Steps

How many times have you read this promise? More than you can count, I’m sure. Each writer has a couple of ideas they believe will improve your day if you just follow instructions.

And the reason they keep writing simple steps and the reason people keep reading simple steps is because we think simple is what will fix it.

decision qualityIf the instructions said “The 1,500 things needed to improve your quality of life 10%” you wouldn’t even open the email. Nope. 1,500 is just more than most are willing to commit to. But the truth is every day you make more than 1,500 decisions. Each one has the power to alter not only the course of your life but those you love and even those you do not know.

So here are my “3 Easy Steps”.

1. Be aware of your decision making process.

2. Make the best possible decision with the information and values you have at that moment.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 consistently.

I didn’t promise what kind of changes but it will change your day.

Quick Fix

It started out as a simple mistake. The nail tech filed too much on the side and the plastic tip cracked. Filing it down so it was straight across made the nail 1/4 inch shorter than the same nail on the other hand. Unfortunately the nails were on the hands of a woman who had made up her mind to be deeply offended by the mistake.

false-nails-460x276Sitting two chairs over I had a ring side seat for the facial expressions, the deep sighs, the eye rolling and the squirming that went on for the next half hour. The whole time the tech worked patiently to fix the nail and build it up to the same length as the others. The owner stopped by every 10 minutes to check on the client and the progress. Each time the client rudely told how the tech had screwed up her nail and that it better be fixed to her satisfaction.

As I listened, I felt sorry for the two women holding hands across the workstation from each other. I felt sorry for the patient tech who was able to correct a simple mistake but in order to fix it had to sit within arms length of the one offended.

I felt sorry for the woman who was so worked up over 1/4 inch of plastic finger nail. Even after it was fixed she still was visibly agitated.  What was going on in her heart, mind and life that would cause this kind of behavior over a finger nail? As she paid for her services she informed the owner that she would not be returning. I have to think the owner and the tech were both relieved to hear that.

Fixing the original problem wasn’t really a problem at all. After hearing “It’s your attitude” for the better part of 40 years I finally got it yesterday. I saw it in action. The focus on the offense even after it’s been made whole is more of a problem than the original problem ever was.

So many lessons learned yesterday.

Money and Feet

A wise man once said “People vote with their money and their feet”. I agree with him.

votePutting your money into the people, projects and things that resonate with your values is one of the quickest ways to show your agreement and support. Politicians know donors are more important than registered voters. Kickstarter is based on strangers believing in the vision of others and making them reality. Marketing and Advertising are a multi billion dollar industry built on nothing but creating desire and filling it with the item de jour.

Everyday there are hundred of opportunities to join in or be part of something bigger than yourself. It may be as simple as meeting a friend for a walk or a cup of coffee. It may be sitting by the bed of a sick relative, helpless to change or heal them but simply offering comfort by your presence. It may be standing up for someone or sitting down beside them. It may be lending a hand or picking up a hammer. It may be cheering the one in the arena or it may be stepping onto the battle field yourself.

Everyday your money and your feet go somewhere at your direction. Choose wisely. Your vote matters.

What did you support today?

Who did you support today?

What values did you support today?

What are you going to do tomorrow?

 

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