It’s never too late to be what you might have been. It’s never to early, either.

being-perfect-Anna-Quindlen

“Someday, sometime, you will be sitting somewhere. A berm overlooking a pond in Vermont. The lip of the Grand Canyon at sunset. A seat on the subway. And something bad will have happened: You will have lost someone you loved, or failed at something at which you badly wanted to succeed. And sitting there, you will fall into the center of yourself. You will look for some core to sustain you. And if you have been perfect all your life and have managed to meet all the expectations of your family, your friends, your community, your society, chances are excellent that there will be a black hole where that core ought to be. I don’t want anyone I know to take that terrible chance. And the only way to avoid it is to listen to that small voice inside you that tells you to make mischief, to have fun, to be contrarian, to go another way. George Eliot wrote, ‘It is never too late to be what you might have been.’ It is never too early, either.”

 - Anna Quindlen, Being Perfect


Source: Thank you WhiskeyRiver from Anna Quindlen’s book: Being Perfect

4 Box

chart-grid-graph-Now-4-box


Source: Paul


The weight of you

Tom-Hiddleston  Tom-hiddleston-2

Let people feel the weight of who you are and let them deal with it.

~ John Eldridge


Credits: Quote – Schonwieder. Photograph/Gif.

Spite Me

spite-research-

NY Times: Spite is Good. Spite Works:

…Evolutionary theorists have long been intrigued by the origins and purpose of spite, and a new report suggests that sometimes spite can make right.

…The new research on spite transcends older notions that we are savage, selfish brutes at heart, as well as more recent suggestions that humans are inherently affiliative creatures yearning to love and connect. Instead, it concludes that vice and virtue, like the two sides of a V, may be inextricably linked.

…human decency and cooperation require a certain degree of so-called altruistic punishment: the willingness of some individuals to punish rule breakers even when the infraction does not directly affect them — challenging the guy who broke into the line behind you, for example.

…“It could be that Nietzsche was right about punishment,” Dr. Forber said, “that it originated as spite and only later was turned into a mechanism for maintaining fairness and justice.”

“…If you get the reputation as someone not to mess with and nobody messes with you going forward, then it was well worth the cost.”

“…It’s like the Mafia,” he said. “They end up reducing crime in the areas they inhabit.”

Read full article in NY Times: Spite is Good. Spite Works.

 

Just Perfect

perfect-stone-quote

I’m on the train, returning home, and rifling through blog posts on my reader.
My index finger pauses. Then stops.
You are perfect.
I stare.
You are perfect.
I am Perfect.
I am Perfect?
Who believes this nonsense?

No breakfast: And 1 granola bar for lunch. (No calorie diet after weekend gorging.)

No 8 glasses of water a day: Try zero. Zero liquids. (A head scratcher. Is that even possible? Are you a camel? An Android?)

No waiting for Walk Signals: I jaywalk in a criss-crossing of Manhattan streets, sheets of freezing rain slapping my trench coat. Eye glasses wet and fogging. (March 31. Please, Please make it Be Spring.)

No shortage of stupidity. I rub the rain-splashed-grime off the toe caps of my shoes with my hands, and instinctively reach for my suit pants. Black shoe polish. (I look around to see if anyone is watching.  Just me.  Who does this?)

No breaks: No pauses. No eye rests. No at-your-desk toe and leg stretches. (An accomplished All-Pro Back at the sedentary position.)

No Enjoyment of the Warming Evening Sun: Head down, as the crow flies, walk-running cross-town to catch the 6:30 pm Metro North. (Aware of no one. Aware of nothing. But the shot clock. More March Madness.)

No Perfection: Just another Imperfect Manic Monday.

 


Image Credit

All glory

glory-start-begin
?  hmmmmmmm?!?!?!
+ the dogged perseverance to keep going
+ laser-like focus and undivided attention
+ the resolute tenacity to overcome
+ the sticktoitiveness to Finish
= Glory!



Pause. Then, ask yourself 3 questions:

funny-gif-need-said-question

funny-gif-need-said-question-ask-2

funny-gif-need-said-question-ask-think-3


Ouch. Hitting close to the bone here…


Source: themetapicture

Separate Water from a River

under-water

…“Work-life balance” is a toxic distinction, inviting misery and stress, endless juggling and reconfigurations to try and get it “right,” where no right actually exists.

Maybe the hippies, the yogis, Einstein had it right when they say that everything is life – no matter what you’re doing, where you are, who you’re with – because everything is energy, vibration, movement. You can’t separate work from life anymore than you can separate water from a river.

The question, then, becomes more about where, energetically speaking, do you want to dwell? What sort of pulse and movement do you want to enjoy, through it all? Tortured and low, with the executives and the mind’s cruel categories, or up high, with the lovers, the synergists and the fools?

~ Mark Morford, Is “Work-Life” Balance a Lie?


Photograph Credit: Brooke Didonato

Get. To. The. Point.

brief-joseph-mccormack


Excerpts from the Joseph McCormack’s Book Brief: The Brevity Mandate

“Here are the daunting challenges we all face every day to be heard: Attention spans are in a tailspin. In 2000, the average attention span was 12 seconds and now it’s only eight. Professionals are interrupted 6-7 times an hour, often unable to get back to the task at hand. More than 43% abandon complicated or lengthy emails in the first 30 seconds. And the majority of people admit ignoring half the e-mails they get every day.”

“The more you say, the less people hear”

“The business world today is full of information overload and there is not enough time to sift through it. If you cannot capture people’s attention and deliver your message with brevity, you’ll lose them.”

“The discipline to capture and manage elusive mindshare now shapes and defines professional success. Shorter emails, better organized updates, and tighter and more engaging presentations are immediate indicators that you’ve got what it takes to succeed in an attention economy.”

“Getting to the point is a non-negotiable standard.”


Find book on Amazon here.


Riding Metro-North. Mid-Day Oasis.

New-York-City-Street-Cabs

Same train.
Same track.
Same destination.
New time of day.
A mid-day oasis.
A sabbatical from the morning crush.
No scramble to find a seat.
Tourists staring out the window.
Day visitors chattering.
Students with headphones bobbing their heads.
And a smattering of Suits.
The Sun beams through the windows overheating the railcars.
The train clacks Se détendre. Se détendre. Relax.
We pull into Grand Central at 3:51 pm, 10 minutes late.
The crowd meanders out of the car.
I zig zag around them.
I have a 4pm call and need to get out of the tunnels to get a cell signal.
The escalator to the Exit is out of order. I look up the stairs. Way up. And groan.
I take them. One at a time.
Counting them off.
17.18.19.
35.36.37.
I look up. Dear God. I’m only about half way there. Where the h*ll is the Oasis now.
45.46.47.
Heaving now. Gasping for air. Middle age wheels are coming off.
56.57.58.
I steal a peak at my watch. 3:58 pm. 2 minutes until the start of my call.
Pay attention. A toe stub would be a calamity, serious mellon damage.
A backward tumble is unimaginable.
71.72.73.74.75.
3 steps left.
76.77.78. Could this be what a heart attack feels like?

I dig into my bag. And pair my bluetooth ear piece to my phone.
“Good afternoon everyone. I’m going to put my phone on mute. Please take the lead.”
Wow, I managed to get that out.

Superman leans against the sign post on Madison and 46th.
The chattering continues in his right ear
as he watches the yellow cabs flying by.
The delivery trucks.
The buses.
All a symphony. An orchestra.
He waits for the Walk signal pondering the antidote to his Kryptonite.
And there it is.
Breathe Man.
Breathe.


Related Posts: Driving/Riding Series. Image Credit


A turn or two I’ll walk

photography-reflection-community-iceland-vogar


A turn or two I’ll walk
To still my beating mind.

— Shakespeare, The Tempest 


Photograph: Ingolfor via Sensual Starfish. Poem Source: Mythology of Blue

Ever think of that?

photography,black and white

Most of the pain you’re dealing with are really just thoughts.. ever think of that?

- Buddhist Bootcamp

 


Credits: Image – Journal of a Nobody.  Quote: Thank you Karen @ Karen’s Korner

Runner. Grounded.

back-pain

6am Thursday:
12” snowfall overnight. DK working from home.

SK: Are you going to shovel the driveway?
DK: No.
SK: No?
DK: No.
SK: (Eye roll) You’re going to let me do it? Again?
DK: I’ll do it this afternoon after I finish my calls.
SK: No you won’t.
DK: Are you going to keep riding me on this all day?

6am Friday.
3” of additional snowfall overnight.

SK: Are you going to shovel the driveway?
DK: No.
SK: No?
DK: No. Not before work. I’m not showering again.
DK: Just leave it until I return tonight. It will warm up and melt.
SK: Really? You’re kidding right? (She heads outside to shovel.)
DK: I told you to leave it. (She has this Thing about a clean driveway)
SK: How do you plan to get out?
DK: Get out of the way. I’m going to ram through the piles with the car.

2pm Sunday.
DK ventures outside to clear the back steps. SK opens the door.

SK: Why don’t you use the steel edger/chopper to break the ice?
DK: Oh come on. Really? I’ve shoveled show before. Get inside.
SK: OK have it your way.

(Mumbling. Girl telling Canadian how to shovel snow. What’s next?)
I get after it.
I bend the show shovel trying to break the ice.
I lean on it to try bend it back.
I look through the back door to see if she’s watching.
Coast is clear.
I stomp through the snow to get to the garage to get the steel chopper.
I start slamming the ice.
On the third swing, I hit concrete.
Cold, vibrating steel.
Shooting, stabbing pain in my lower back.
Air whooshes out of my lungs.
I fall to my knees. (Dear God help me.)

SK: What’s wrong?
DK: My back.
SK: You’re joking, right?
DK: Does it look like a joke? (I crawl upstairs to bed.)
SK: (Laughing) Do you see any irony here?
DK: No. I don’t actually. None.
DK: I do see you getting enormous pleasure seeing me keeled over in pain.
SK: Oh, come on. Big Man clears 2-steps. I shovel massive piles of snow. (Still laughing)
DK: Stay away from me. Way back.

Snow forecast 3″-5” tonight.


Image Credit

It’s all that matters

chair on stage

I couldn’t get comfortable. It was a straight back chair. I’m infused with a dull, throbbing haze. The prior evening included two cocktails, a late night dinner and four hours of sleep short of requirements for base level performance. A modest change in daily routine – having a disproportionate impact on operating equilibrium.

I’m sitting. Sort of. Restless. The metal bars on the seat back are leaving tracks, the comfort of r-bar. Rough, cold steel on skin.  I’m twisting.  Trying to find a comfort zone. Those seated behind me zig when I zag. I cross my leg one way. Then pull it back and scissor it over the other. I sit upright. I slouch. I throw my right arm over the back of the chair. Then the left. And then go through the cycle again.

I glance around. The room is fidgeting.

He walks onto the stage. He sits in a panel chair. He takes a drink of water. And waits for the interviewer’s first question.

He’s successful.

No.

He’s wildly successful.

A Horatio Alger story. He grew up in a family with modest means. His Father worked in government service. His Mother at home with the children.

The room is quiet. Locked-in.

His energy fills the room.  His mind is whirring.

He shares his view and insights on a wide swath of territory. Domestic policy. Economy. Government. Immigration. Social issues. Philanthropy. The Arts. Conservation. His Love of Country.

And without breaking stride, he injects self-deprecating experiences.

We’re in his web.

Q: What keeps you up at night?

A: I’m 6x years old. My Father passed away about this age. When you are 50, you believe you have another half to go. When you turn 60, there’s a keen realization that 2/3rd’s is gone.  A shift from a ‘lot to go’ to ‘what’s left’. I don’t know when…when my mind or body will no longer permit me to keep up the pace. But I have a lot that I want do…a lot I need to accomplish.

He pauses. Reflects. And continues. (The wildly successful man continues…)

A: What I really worry about is getting “that call” at night on one of our children. He shakes his head. Let’s set that aside. I worry about my children growing up with appropriate balance, with the appropriate values, given that they have been surrounded by great wealth. That is why I plan to give most of it away. At the end of the day, I want my children to be happy.

That is all that matters.

That is all that matters to me.


Calm Down (Top 10 Ways to…)

How-Successful-People-Stay-Calm-graph1

Forbes: How Successful People Stay Calm:

TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control. If you’ve followed my work, you’ve read some startling research summaries that explore the havoc stress can wreak on one’s physical and mental health. The tricky thing about stress (and the anxiety that comes with it) is that it’s an absolutely necessary emotion. Our brains are wired such that it’s difficult to take action until we feel at least some level of this emotional state. In fact, performance peaks under the heightened activation that comes with moderate levels of stress. As long as the stress isn’t prolonged, it’s harmless.

While I’ve run across numerous effective strategies that successful people employ when faced with stress, what follows are ten of the best. Some of these strategies may seem obvious, but the real challenge lies in recognizing when you need to use them and having the wherewithal to actually do so in spite of your stress.

  1. They appreciate what they have
  2. They avoid asking “what if”
  3. They stay positive
  4. They disconnect
  5. They limit their caffeine intake
  6. They sleep
  7. They squash negative self-talk
  8. They re-frame their perspective
  9. They breathe
  10. They use their support-system

Read full article @ Forbes: How Successful People Stay Calm


Thank you Tarique

A Digital Detox Test: The 7 Day Digital Diet

Digital-detox-social-media

And, could I do it? Read the outcome of Patrick Leger’s test @ A Digital Detox Test: Unplug Twitter and Facebook. Put Off Email and Smartphone.

“So for one week in January… I unplugged…I disconnected during a regular workweek and, in lieu of tropical seclusion, enjoyed the subfreezing and proximal isle of Manhattan…I determined I would spend no more than 15 minutes in it each session and sign in just once over the weekend. I’d use the phone only from home and would wait until noon to turn it on. I would not initiate any text exchanges, and if I received a message, I would respond as tersely as possible or call the person back. I could not go on the Internet at all unless it was crucial, and certainly not on social media. No streaming or live TV, only DVDs. Handwritten calendar. And music only at home…”

Love them. What do I do with them?

words,write,writing,vocabulary,writer,blog,blogging

The Lori’s, the Mimi’s, the Beth’s, the… (I can go on and on)…they weave words. Fine, beautiful, silky words.  Effortlessly sliding around rock. Floating on air currents on a magic carpet. Drifting upward with red Helium balloons.  And then. There’s me.  Chopping. Hacking. Slashing. Racking my mind to find just the right word.  Blow after blow of self-flagellation.  It can’t be due to a lack of depth in (of?) vocabulary. (Well, maybe it is.) I do have a short list of magic words. I love them. Yet, I find it impossible to work them into a sentence. (Note to Self: In time DK. In time. You will work this list. It might be 3 yards and a cloud of dust, but you will cross the damn goal line. Yes you will.  And yes readers, you will soon find these deep blog passages of mine “imbued with sparkle and élan.”* Oh, God. Help me.)

Bucolic In a lovely rural setting.
Conflate To blend together.
Demure Shy and reserved.
Ebullience Bubbling enthusiasm.
Ephemeral Short-lived.
Ethereal Gaseous, invisible but detectable.
Evanescent Vanishing quickly, lasting a very short time.
Gossamer The finest piece of thread, a spider’s silk.
Halcyon Happy, sunny, care-free.
Imbue To infuse, instill.
Incipient Beginning, in an early stage.
Ineffable Unutterable, inexpressible.
Inure To become jaded.
Lissome Slender and graceful.
Mellifluous Sweet sounding.
Panoply A complete set.
Petrichor The smell of earth after rain.
Propinquity An inclination.
Redolent Fragrant.
Scintilla A spark or very small thing.
Sempiternal Eternal.
Sumptuous Lush, luxurious.
Surreptitious Secretive, sneaky.
Woebegone Sorrowful, downcast.


Sources/References/Credits:


I would hear the word whispered to me in simple moments

woman-red-hair-winter

“…Instead, I found that in quiet, ordinary, every day life, I would hear the word whispered to me in simple moments: give that car the room to merge ahead; give that person your full attention – remain quiet and let them talk; spend a few moments in conversation with the building custodian when leaving work, give that compliment to the woman in line ahead of you with the gorgeous hair; tell the person who helped you that they made an impact; express gratitude to the ones who are there for you all the time; give a moment a chance to happen instead of taking over…”

~ Bonnie, “How Will I Be Changed” @ PageKeeper


Credits: Thank you Bonnie.  Read full post @ “How Will I Be Changed.” Image Credit: Dear Caffeine

Joy Johnson

Joy-Johnson

“She was 86, competing in the marathon for the 25th consecutive time. Even injured, she abided by one of her enduring rules for any race, which was to smile down the homestretch, aware of the roving race photographers and believing it never served anyone to be caught in a grimace.

Joy Johnson crossed the finish line at the New York City Marathon this year nearly eight hours after she began. Of the 50,266 people to finish, she was among the very last — wearing a pair of Nikes and a navy blue bow pinned neatly in her hair, leaning on a stranger for support. Her forehead was bloodied in a fall she took at around Mile 20…Johnson, who was raised on a Minnesota dairy farm and was given to cheery understatement, waved off any concern. “I wasn’t watching where I was going,” she told her sister shortly after finishing. “It looks just awful, but I’m fine.”

…she herself didn’t have an exercise regimen. Until one day in 1985, when she and her husband were newly retired and their four children all grown, Johnson, who was 59, took a three-mile walk and found it energizing. Soon she tried jogging and enjoyed that even more…As a senior citizen, she ran an average of three marathons a year, buttressed by dozens of shorter races, always with a bow in her hair. Her home in San Jose grew so cluttered with running medals and trophies that she began storing some of them in the garage.

Early the next morning, looking cheery, with her medal around her neck and a blue kerchief over her head, the right side of her face swaddled in bandages, Joy Johnson waited in the crowd outside NBC Studios to say hello, as she did postmarathon every year, to Al Roker (“a nice young man,” she called him) from the “Today” show…”

I won’t be a spoiler.  Be sure to read this article and how it finishes: Joy Johnson, a Marathoner to the End


Credits:

  • Elise, thank you for sharing.  Inspiring. How do you define grace and class: Joy Johnson.
  • Image & Article: NYTimes.com

Jingle all the way

laugh,joke,


Source: Themetapicture.com

I couldn’t get a job today

peter-higgs-book-chalkboard

Peter Higgs, 84, a British theoretical physicist, will be awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics today in Stockholm for his pioneering research in the 1960′s related to the Higgs Boson particle theory (“The God Particle”).

The emeritus professor at Edinburgh University, who says he has never sent an email, browsed the internet or made a mobile phone call, published fewer than 10 papers following his groundbreaking work in 1964 which identified the mechanism by which subatomic material acquires mass.

He doubts that a similar breakthrough could be achieved in today’s academic culture, because of the expectations on academics to collaborate and keep churning out papers. He said: “It’s difficult to imagine how I would ever have enough peace and quiet in the present sort of climate to do what I did in 1964.”

Edinburgh university’s authorities then took the view, he later learned, that he “might get a Nobel prize – and if he doesn’t we can always get rid of him”.

Higgs said he became “an embarrassment to the department when they did research assessment exercises”. A message would go around the department saying: “Please give a list of your recent publications.” Higgs said: “I would send back a statement: ‘None.’”

He has never been tempted to buy a television, but was persuaded to watch The Big Bang Theory last year, and said he wasn’t impressed.

Read entire story in The Guardian: “Nobel Prize winner behind Higgs-Boson says he couldn’t get an academic job today


Image Credit

SMWI*: There is something bigger than you get at home


SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration

Called out of ourselves by the scent of a wild rose, the stunning yellow spike of goldenrod – and we answer back

Laura Sewall

“Crickets call to the east. A chopper ratchets a mile to the west. I sit in the middle, my left ear seduced by the soft cadence, the evershifting song of crickets in spring. My right ear is hollowed out, hard, both braced against and invaded by the clipped din of machinery. I am beginning to cry. I have felt the breath and nudge of the Dreamtime and know that it is beyond my threshold of perception, just beyond my reach, just a slip of consciousness away. I long for my serpentine thirst to be quenched by the dreaming, long for the look and feel of ultimate belonging and the sensuous play of being embedded, in bed with the world, dug in and dirty. But the phone rings, my endless list of things to do nags, haunts, and fills my consciousness. I too perceive the invisibles. In this case, they are mostly petty preoccupations- the trip I must make to Safeway, the phone calls I must return, the mail piling up- and the fact of my father, growing old, alone, 3,000 miles away. A phone call to him does not appear on my list. I feel such sadness as daily obligations fill my badgered view. I go blind in order to forget. The daily demands of our lives cause us to narrow our field of vision, shaping and minimizing our view to match a preoccupation with phones and texts or a long list of tasks that are never complete.Then in unconscious defense against the onslaught of modern business as usual, we further minimize the sensations we receive with self-inflicted doses of numbing. Most of us, I dare say, are numb to varying degrees, and for good reasons. This state of being is what James Hillman calls ‘anesthesia.’ Anesthetized, we no longer gasp in sudden wonder, inspire or become inspired as the beauty of the world enters us, for we are artificially numbed. David Abram calls this state ‘collective myopia,’ implying that we see little beyond our comfortable and constrained personal environments, we lack depth perception. When awakened, perception is motivated, like a hunger of the body. And like lovers, our sensing and sensual bodies are fed on sound and scent, feasted by late afternoon light. Because we hunger for the eroticism such sensation affords our bodies, we are pleased to be called out of ourselves by the scent of a wild rose, the stunning yellow spike of goldenrod- and we answer back.”

~ Laura Sewall

[Read more...]

SMWI*: “Sad. This scale can’t be right.”

snoopy and woodstock


Notes: SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration. Image Source: HungarianSoul

You are a fish on a line. Getting Unhooked.

Miroslav Minar - woman

“Sixteen thousand—that’s how many words we speak, on average, each day. So imagine how many unspoken ones course through our minds. Most of them are not facts but evaluations and judgments entwined with emotions—some positive and helpful…others negative and less so (He’s purposely ignoring me; I’m going to make a fool of myself; I’m a fake).

The prevailing wisdom says that difficult thoughts and feelings have no place at the office: …leaders, should be either stoic or cheerful; they must project confidence and damp down any negativity bubbling up inside them. But that goes against basic biology. All healthy human beings have an inner stream of thoughts and feelings that include criticism, doubt, and fear. That’s just our minds doing the job they were designed to do: trying to anticipate and solve problems and avoid potential pitfalls.

…Leaders stumble not because they have undesirable thoughts and feelings—that’s inevitable—but because they get hooked by them, like fish caught on a line. This happens in one of two ways. They buy into the thoughts, treating them like facts (It was the same in my last job…I’ve been a failure my whole career), and avoid situations that evoke them (I’m not going to take on that new challenge). Or, usually at the behest of their supporters, they challenge the existence of the thoughts and try to rationalize them away (I shouldn’t have thoughts like this…I know I’m not a total failure), and perhaps force themselves into similar situations, even when those go against their core values and goals (Take on that new assignment—you’ve got to get over this). In either case, they are paying too much attention to their internal chatter and allowing it to sap important resources that could be put to better use. [Read more...]

Note from Simba: Break the Circle

hurry, multitasking, treadmill, on a treadmill, racing,work
Note to Self / Note from Simba:
Break the Chain.
Break the Circle of (work) Life.

Take a new route to work.
Invite a colleague to breakfast.
Schedule 5 minute breaks.
Whisper Good Enough.
Then let it go.
Let your emails pile up.
Just let them go.
Take a walk.
Leave your smartphone behind.
Steal 10 minutes to read.
Try Human.
Call a friend.
Try gratitude.
Send a thank you note.
Interrupt the pace.
No. STOP.
Stop the frenzy.
Push your chair away from your desk.
Pause.
Slow.It.Down.
Close your eyes.
Drift.
You are now walking barefoot.
Surf and sand rushing between your toes.
Breathe.
Inhale.
Deeply.
Say the words:
Peace be with you.

Today.
Break the chain.
Do it.
Do one thing.
Do Something.

Enjoy yourself. It’s later than you think.


Circle of Life (Lion King)

From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There’s more to see than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done
There’s far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high
Through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round

It’s the circle of life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle
The circle of life


Image Source: Themetapicture.com. Inspired by Michael Brown @ Real Learning For A Change. Chinese Proverb: “Enjoy Yourself…” via wasbella102.

A Good Life, Too


Some Staff Mean.
Some Staff Good.
They say he not part of the world.
He Bad.
It felt bad.
He’s not part of the World. He evil.
I want a good life, too.


“When he was a toddler, Alonzo Clemons suffered a brain injury. It forever changed the way he learns and communicates but also the way he interprets the world around him. Very early it became clear to Alonzo that he had to sculpt. He was institutionalized for ten years in a state hospital which wasn’t a pleasant experience, but he continued to find ways to make delicate figures with his hands. When they wouldn’t give him clay, he would scrape warm tar from the parking lot.”

You can learn more about Alonzo Clemons’ work at alonzoclemons.com


Your Muse. She prefers sweat.

work, hard work,

“Is this magic? A miracle? No, it’s common as dirt.

It’s how creativity works. We show up. We do our best. Good things happen.

This is the intersection of Hard Work and Inspiration.

When we say “Put your ass where your heart wants to be,” this is what we mean.

This is what being a pro is all about. It’s why we practice self-discipline, self-validation, self-reinforcement…

We master all of those disciplines for one reason: so that we can be sitting there in the sweet spot when the Muse’s rocket ship passes by. That’s how the two sides work together. Hard work and inspiration.

Diligence produces inspiration because it shows respect to the goddess.

Genius and brilliance do not earn her favor. She prefers sweat. Get your butt in to the studio. Sit down at the piano. Boot up your iMac.

See yourself as the Muse sees you. You’ll know what to do.”

~ Stephen Pressfield, “You, as the Muse Sees You


Image Credit: Patrick Wilbanks


10 Guaranteed Steps to Leadership Excellence

business,leadership,lead,manage,management

  1. Be strategic. Be Tactical. Be a firefighter.
  2. Push for productivity. For excellence. Pull. Pull with PURPOSE.
  3. Set pace. Drive. Pause. Stop. Change. BALANCE.
  4. Build Relationships. CARE. Keep adequate distance.
  5. Learn. Coach. Nurture. Correct.
  6. Hire. Upgrade. Right-size. Fire. (sigh)
  7. Lead. Manage. Own. Delegate. Follow. Release.
  8. Show Strength. Be Resilient. Be Tough. Be Fair. Be compassionate. Admit weakness.
  9. Cheer. Rally. Celebrate. Recognize. Recover.  Regroup. INSPIRE.
  10. Be on. Be on. Be on. Be on. Be on. Be on. Be on. Be on. Be on. BE ON.

 


Image Credit


 

For aren’t we all ground over time to what matters

dancer

“For aren’t we all ground over time to what matters, unrecognizable and richer for it? It seems very little actually happens the first time around. Until we are worn to the smallest part of beauty, the smallest part of truth. Isn’t this the way? In time, the mountain trying to reach the sky crumbles softly to join the sea. In time, we outlive our ambitions, happy to land as the grain of sand a small fish mouths. Eventually, when moved to be still way inside, I somehow open like an iris no one sees and a tear falls within, nowhere to be found, though it sends being through my blood into my arms, into my hands, into my very fingers. Then, I am compelled to barely touch anything coming alive: the closed eye of a dog sleeping or the bluebird egg waiting to hatch. Then, I am refreshed by snow quieting the gash in the earth and the snow-like silence coating the wound in my heart.”

~ Mark Nepo


Credits:


The Path: Step A. To B. To C. To?

black and white

“…Do well at Step A and you can proceed to Step B. Do well at B, and proceed to C. As I look back at my life so far, I realize that I was playing by a very narrow set of rules. And if I played by those rules, worked hard, and caught a lucky break or two, I’d be rewarded with plenty of wealth and prestige.

And that worked okay…for a while…until I began to have nagging doubts. “The Path” began to feel just a bit too narrow. I felt that I was always trying to do well in life in order to move to the next step. As a result, I had completely lost the ability to live in the moment or to appreciate success for success’ sake. And failure? Well, that wasn’t even an option. Most insidiously, I began looking at the people in my life only as potential allies (or, gasp, even pawns) in my quest to keep plugging along down The Path…”

~ Steve Roesler, Life Choices. Bitter or Better?


Credits: Stairway by Bobus @ Elinka.  Quote Source: allthingsworkplace.com


Talking is like drinking a great Cabernet. Listening is like doing squats.

talking too much


  • “Take this simple test: After your next long conversation with someone, estimate what percentage of it you spent talking. Be honest. No, you’re already underestimating. How do I know? Because it’s more fun to talk than to listen. Add another 20% to your total. If you talked more than 70% of the time, you jabber too much.”
  • “An optimal conversation flow has each person talking about 50% of the time. This is the Ali-Frazier of good give-and-take.”
  • “But, you say, what if your talking partner is just quiet and loves to listen? Stop it. She doesn’t. Listening is like reading a corporate report. Talking is like eating a cinnamon bun.”
  • So how do you achieve this 50-50 conversational ideal? Easy: ask questions. But don’t think that one “How are you?” is going to turn you into Oprah. Actually listen to what the other person is saying, and find openings.”
  • “But if you’re talking about someone whom your conversation partner doesn’t know, especially a mother, keep it short—one minute tops, unless it’s a truly fantastic story.”
  • “I can hear you complaining already: “One minute? But I need to include all the details.” No you don’t…Your job is to quickly entertain and inform, and then to ask good questions…”
  • “Also, let your chattering breathe a little. One dastardly arrow in the big talker’s quiver is to slow down in the middle of his sentence, then to blow through the period so that there’s no opening for anyone to squeeze a word in.”
  • “Another essential rule is to monitor your audience. Is the guy you’re talking to glancing at his cellphone, spinning his Dorito like a paper football or making his tie into a noose? If so, pull the ripcord and ask him if Heineken is his favorite beer, since you’ve just seen him drain five of them. Watch how relieved he is to have a turn to talk!”

~ Rob Lazebnik, a writer on “The Simpson’s. See full article @ wsj.com: It’s True: You Talk Too Much


I have a few ‘acquaintances’ that could benefit from these tips. :)


Image Credit

SMWI*: No words required.

funny-fat-cat-door


*SMWI = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration

Source: themetapicture

Repeat after me: “Hanibaram”

hanibaram-winds

toska-melancholy

[Read more...]

SMWI*: Look, you’re always perfect to me

diet,weight,fit,fitness,laugh,funny,exercise


SMWI* = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration

Creator: Sarah Anderson, Doodle Time

The outcome of my days

black and white

“The outcome of my days is always the same; an infinite desire for what one never gets; a void one cannot fill; an utter yearning to produce in all ways, to battle as much as possible against time that drags us along, and the distractions that throw a veil over our soul.”

~ Eugene Delacroix, “The Journal of Eugene Delacroix


Credits: Image – Your Eyes Blazeout. Quote – The Hidden Abyss


Repeat after me: “Plimpplampplettere”

mai pen rai-thai-worry-word

skip stones

[Read more...]

Riding MetroNorth. The Day’s Highlight.

train-ticket

I’m walking down 51st Street to catch the 6:22 train home.
A migraine has been throbbing since 11 am.
It’s progressively clawing at my attention.
And sawing at my patience.
3:30 am insomnia?
Skipping lunch?
This diet is going to kill me.
I find an open seat.
I grab my ticket from my bag.
And set my coat and bag overhead.
I slump into the window seat and rest my head against the window.
I close my eyes.
Give me 10 minutes. Please. Just 10. And, let this pain evaporate.
The train pulls out of Grand Central.
I drift away with the clickety clack of the train.
I awake to the conductor calling for tickets.
I hand my ticket to her.
She smiles, and hands it back.
She tells me she’ll be back and moves on to the other passengers.
I look down. It’s the receipt instead of the ticket.
Flustered. I apologize to my seatmate.
I stand up to reach for my bag.
I open the zipper to get at my wallet. [Read more...]

My Score? 0 for 5. (Sad)

funny-plate-cutlery-eating-meaning


Ouch.
Pause“…for what? Keep it comin’.
Do not like“…what? Can’t think of anything.
Where’s the sign for “Ready for Third Plate“?
Where’s the sign for “Ready for Dessert“?
What about the sign “Don’t look too closely. I had to loosen my belt to make room.


“…in restaurants they like non-verbal clues.  A sign language of sorts.  The waiter or waitress reads the secret code spelled out through your dirty utensils and napkin. If the waiter doesn’t happen to see  you licking your plate (which is the International sign of “Yup … thems was good eatin’.  I’m done!“) how’s he supposed to know if you’re finished eating? He knows by where you’ve placed your cutlery.  Honestly, he does…(other rules to note): 

  • Your napkin should be half heartedly folded to the left of your plate.
  • Do NOT rest the cutlery on the table.
  • Do NOT cross the cutlery over each other in an X.
  • Do NOT put your napkin on your plate.
  • Do NOT perfectly refold your napkin.
  • Do NOT put your napkin on your chair.
  • Do NOT fold your napkin into the shape of a swan or a dead chicken and then leave the restaurant wearing it as a hat.”

SMWI*: Yup. About right.

funny-ape-run-exercise-fat


*SMWI = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration

Source: Pinterest

Repeat after me: “Babí léto”

tukorsima-hungarian

finland,finnish

[Read more...]

4:48 am. And Inspired.

photography,memorial,terrorist,attack


Good Wednesday morning. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:

Elisa Ruland @ South of Easton with her beautiful post titled Despairin memoriam to those who died on 9-11:  “Scouring the rusted steel edges I wanted to find an explanation for the madness, I wanted to feel something instead of going numb, to find beauty in the ugliness.  The pain, horror and confusion was palpable in the blast etched remains of the steel, and the need to walk away was overwhelming.  I left without any answers to calm the static...”  That is Elisa’s photograph above.  Read more at this link.  Check out her other wonderful posts and photographs at this link.

LouAnn @ On the HomeFront with her post titled “Beauty and Grace.” You are asked to write 6 words that describe what your future holds for you.  What are your six words?  Go to this link and read LouAnn’s story.

The Kindness Blog with a post titled: “Go Humans.”  I just began following this blog which posts and shares heartwarming morsels of humanity each day.  Check out this post at at this link.  Take a moment to fan through the other posts over the past week.  I’m convinced you’ll feel a change.

Cristi Moise @ Simple & Interesting his share: People Seeing Their Younger Self in The Mirror. “Tom Hussey is an award-winning lifestyle advertising photographer based in Dallas, Texas. In a series entitled Reflections, Hussey shows a series of elderly people looking in a mirror at their younger self.” Moving.  You’ll find one of Hussey’s pictures below.  You must see the others at this link.

Have a great hump day.

portrait,photography

 


SMWI*: Calories Burned Per Hour

healthiest sites on internet-funny


*SMSI = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration

Source: Ben Greenman

4:04 am. And Inspired.

swimming in the rain


Good Wednesday morning. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:

Jon-Mark Davey with his post: Life Changing Moment: “Nothing changes your life like a life-changing moment. It may sound pretty obvious, but that statement doesn’t have real impact until a moment changes your life. One certainly changed ours.” Heartbreaking.  Read more at this link.

Make Believe Boutique (back again) with her share titled The Twinkling Stars Behind Our Sorrow: “…It is rare to meet a person whose life is full of gratitude. Even though the course of a single day may bring innumerable blessings to us, the few moments of genuine gratitude we experience are often overshadowed by our complaints, disappointments, sorrow, and frustration…” Read more at this link. [Read more...]

Nap Time!

napping,sleeping,chart

  • 34% of adults in the U.S. say they take a nap on a typical day.
  • A person who dreams during a short nap is likely sleep deprived.
  • As we age there is a tendency to take and be satisfied with shorter naps.
  • Ideal nap time: 1pm – 4pm.  Napping later in the day can interfere with falling asleep at night.
  • A 10-20 minute nap packs the most punch. You can feel groggy after 20-30 minute naps. A 60 minute nap may do more harm than good.
  • To avoid a deep sleep, it’s best to sleep slightly upright

Read more @ wsj.com: The Perfect Nap: Sleeping is a Mix of Art and Science

I don’t seem to get to that wonderful state by working harder and faster

David-Allen

“Folks, can we hear it for sloth, indolence, and procrastination?!” That’s how I have started many of my seminars over the years. And it always gets thunderous applause and raucous cheers. I think it hits a nerve.

I’ve been working on both (self-forgiveness and sense of humor) for decades now, and still find it quite challenging at times. But you know, when I’m in a loving, whole, and healthy state of mind about myself and about life, everything’s cool. Where I am, doing what I’m doing, is exactly where I need to be and what I need to do. God’s on her throne, the mail is coming, my dog loves me, and tomorrow is just fine right where it is, not showing up until then.

And I don’t seem to get to that wonderful state of mind by working harder and faster. Sometimes it helps, but more often it just perpetuates the angst. [Read more...]

T.G.I.F.: How’s your week gone? Exactly.

funny-tgif-calvin


Image Credit

duende

rain-raindrops-word-definition-hindi

fika-coffee-friends-swedish-word-definition [Read more...]

Rule #1

Milton-Glaser-by-Sam-Haskins-02

“Last year someone gave me a charming book by Roger Rosenblatt called ‘Ageing Gracefully’…I did not appreciate the title at the time but it contains a series of rules for ageing gracefully. The first rule is the best. Rule number one is that ‘it doesn’t matter.’ ‘It doesn’t matter that what you think. Follow this rule and it will add decades to your life. It does not matter if you are late or early, if you are here or there, if you said it or didn’t say it, if you are clever or if you were stupid. If you were having a bad hair day or a no hair day or if your boss looks at you cockeyed or your boyfriend or girlfriend looks at you cockeyed, if you are cockeyed. If you don’t get that promotion or prize or house or if you do – it doesn’t matter.’ Wisdom at last.”

~ Milton Glaser, Ten Things That I Have Learned


Milton Glaser, 84, is among the most celebrated graphic designers in the United States. He has had the distinction of one-man-shows at the Museum of Modern Art and the Georges Pompidou Center. In 2004 he was selected for the lifetime achievement award of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. As a Fulbright scholar, Glaser studied with the painter, Giorgio Morandi in Bologna, and is an articulate spokesman for the ethical practice of design. He opened Milton Glaser, Inc. in 1974, and continues to produce an astounding amount of work in many fields of design to this day. (Source: MiltonGlaser.com)


Credits: Quote Source: Revisionarts.com - Ten Things That I Have Learned. Portrait: Sam Haskins

So, is it “A” or is it “B”?

WOULD CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE DESCRIBED THIS WAY?

successful-unsuccessful-chart

OR THIS WAY? (See below)

[Read more...]