I can’t say that I execute every day, but I do believe this. Yes I do.
I can’t say that I execute every day, but I do believe this. Yes I do.
“If you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I am not interested in your feedback. ”
~ Brené Brown
“Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. She spent the first five years of her decade-long study focusing on shame and empathy, and is now using that work to explore a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness. She poses the questions: How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to recognize that we are enough – that we are worthy of love, belonging, and joy?”
Is it really that important to be constantly busy?
Is it really that important to be so engaged in social media?
Potpourri of articles that have lingered with me…and have fired up the thinking gene:
1) Extend our conscious life span by 150%. The End of Sleep. (Aeon Magazine)
(DK: I need to get some of this “medicine.” Or, maybe not.)
2) Not Doing Better Than Our Parents. And Loving It. (The Umlaut.com)
(DK: Just what my kids need to read. I can hear it already. ”See Dad. You have it all backwards.”)
3) Choking on China. The Superpower That is Poisoning the World. (Foreign Affairs)
(DK: I’m not Mr. Green. But, this. This is frightening.)
4) A Man of His Times (Karl Marx). (NY Times)
(DK: Hard left. Hard Right. We’re all human. )
“He is an intensely loving father, playing energetically with his children and later grandchildren, but also suffering what would now be diagnosed as a two-year depression following the death of his 8-year-old son Edgar.”)
5) Change Your Thoughts About People For a Better Life. (Steve Aitchison)
(DK: I set a modest goal after reading this post. No judging for 1 day. Outcome: Fail. I’m workin’ it. First step in recovery is recognizing…you know the line…I’m on step 2.)
6) The Happiest People Pursue the Most Difficult Problems. (Rosabeth Moss Kanter @ HBR Blog Network)
(DK: “It is hard to feel alone, or to whine about small things, when faced with really big matters..” YES. Period.)
Image Source: GagaBoss Studio
Jessica Hagy’s new book was published this month. It is titled “How to Be Interesting. (In 10 Simple Steps).” The Lady is genius. Here are two examples:
And here’s the second:
I hope that non-Canadians get this too…
Hollywood Style primer for Valentine’s Day. Find your favorite movie scene here?
This one made me think. (And I averted my eyes away from the double negative as I re-read this 3x.)
If you are curious about Yoko Ono’s Cleaning Piece I, II and IV (I was), you’ll find them @ Ibloghappiness.
I’m sorry I missed it…An excerpt of the review from the NY Times: “Anyone who liked swings as a child — and that should include quite a few of us — will probably feel a surprisingly visceral attraction to Ann Hamilton’s installation “the event of a thread” at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City…The swings are there for us, to swing on. The piece has other components, about which more in a minute, but if people are not using the swings, “the event of a thread” does not fully exist. When they are in action, the immense, diaphanous white curtain, made of a lightweight silk twill, rises and dips, and the air is stirred, causing further billowing and fluttering. And in the middle of it all, the curtain, which resembles a low-cost indoor version of Christo and Jean-Claude’s 1972 land art piece “Valley Curtain,” was doing its silent, discombobulated dance. In addition, if you paused in your swinging, you could feel the rest of the interconnected system pulse and gyrate, a momentary demonstration — at once silly and profound — that we are, indeed, all connected.”
Here’s a short and wonderful video clip that makes it all come alive…
Related Posts: Be sure to check out Olivia’s terrific post on the same event at Your Effect on Me Is Incredible
Michael’s in my head again. Jabbing. Jabbing. Jabbing. Gracefully dancing and landing punches like Sugar Ray. With similar effectiveness. Each one leaving a mark. Punch line popping: You are RUDE.
If you want to pay someone a quiet compliment, give them some serious attention when they are speaking.
We’re back to work after a wonderful two week siesta with the family. No travel. No stress. Just watching movies, eating and napping sprinkled with a well intentioned but woefully under-executed exercise regimen. Time to shift gears to work-mode. A post I came across during my vacation by Eric Barker @ “Barking Up The Wrong Tree” reminded me of an earlier conversation with a bright (very), ivy league educated, younger colleague. He posed these following questions:
You have achieved modest success in your career, what key learnings can you share? (Modest? Do I ooze underachievement?)
I’m sure you have made mistakes along the way? Would you mind sharing? (Why not start with the wins? Is it that obvious that this captain has weathered too many rough seas?)
Have you made repeated mistakes in the same area and why? (Cringing. How does he know? Do all ex-collegiate hockey players have a reputation of diving into the same scrum and looking for trouble?)
What tips would you share with someone just starting their career? (In contrast to me, that is, one who is just finishing or finished?)
Why am I afraid to dance, I who love music and rhythm and song and laughter?
Why am I afraid to live, I who love life
and the beauty of flesh and the living colors of earth and sea and sky?
Why am I afraid to love, I who love?
Why am I afraid, I who am not afraid?
Why must I pretend to scorn in order to pity?
Why must I hide myself in self-contempt in order to understand?
Why must I be so ashamed of my strength, so proud of my weakness?
Why must I live in a cage like a criminal, defying and hating, I who love peace and friendship?
Why was I born without a skin? Oh God, that I must wear armor in order to touch or be touched.”
~ Eugene O’Neill, The Great God Brown and Other Plays
Eugene O’Neill (1888-1953), was an American playwright who won the 1936 Nobel Prize in Literature ”for the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy.” His plays involve characters who inhabit the fringes of society, engaging in depraved behavior, where they struggle to maintain their hopes and aspirations but ultimately slide into disillusionment and despair. O’Neill wrote only one comedy (Ah, Wilderness!): all his other plays involve some degree of tragedy and personal pessimism.
Words, questions, music, thoughts. All in a hypnotic cadence. Making it hard to step away.
Source: Thank you Whiskey River
He returned home for Thanksgiving. My strapping 6′ 3” son walked into the waiting area. He had grown. Looking down on his Dad from a higher elevation. Adorned with knee length gym shorts. (47F outside.) Sweat shirt with hoody. And his hair. Wow. Only a Mother can love this slovenly look. And she does. I let it ride. For about 24 hours. Do you think just maybe you could trim it up? Dad puts up the fences and guardrails. Empathetic Mom breaks ranks. Intuitive Son notices his parents on opposing sides. Mamma’s boy digs in and expects full cover. With leverage waning, I grab the last lifeboat …when one feeds at the trough, respect the farmer. Outcome: No haircut. And, I now have a Son using hair elastics and headbands aka hair accessories.
He returned home for Christmas. There he was waiting for us at the airport terminal. Same knee length ratty gym shorts. (39F outside). Same sorry sweat shirt with hoody. And his hair. All intact. Clothes, hair, shoes…looking matted, dingy and need of a hot shower and wire brush. Mom first. Then, Dad gave his Son a hug. Zeke, electrified, and in the midst of a full head-to-toe body wiggle, finally settled after Eric kneeled down to hug him. Of course, Zeke needed to be part of the greeting party. [Read more...]
My initial reaction to Wendy MacNaughton’s illustration was “Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!” I let it marinate and then returned to it. My reaction shifted to “please, please, please let it be wrong.”
Wendy MacNaughton. I’m a big fan. She’s an illustrator and graphic journalist with a long list of brand name clients including the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, NPR and a slew of others. Some of my other favorite illustrations include:
Q. Are there days where you wake up and think: “Nothing good has come to me in a little while. I’d better prime the pump”?
A. Well, who hasn’t woken up thinking, “God, nothing good has come to me in a while,” right? When I feel like I’m stuck, I do something — not like I’m Mother Teresa or anything, but there’s someone that’s forgotten about in your life, all the time. Someone that could use an “Attaboy” or a “How you doin’ out there.” It’s that sort of scene, that remembering that we die alone. We’re born alone. We do need each other. It’s lonely to really effectively live your life, and anyone you can get help from or give help to, that’s part of your obligation.
~ Dave Itzkoff interviewing Bill Murray, Sunday, December 2, 2012, New York Times: With Bill Murray, Just Take the Trip
Something so simple. Yet, so true. Yes, it takes time. Yes, an introvert would need to leave the safety of their comfort zone. Making a human connection. I care. You matter. Need to work up to top of the ladder. See full and worthy post from The Chief Happiness Officer:
“Please do not underestimate the effect of something as simple as saying good morning at work. Studies show that when you have a good start to your work day, you’ll typically have a good day. Here’s our easiest and best tip for kicking your work day off with happiness: The Level 5 Good Morning. We call it that because there are several approaches to saying good morning at work:
At what level are the typical good mornings in your workplace? And what would happen if you took it to level 5?”
Even a dog can learn to do it for Pete’s sake…
Source: Thank you madamescherzo
“Gentleness may have been the first thing I noticed about Joe…I may have noticed his size at about the same time: though he is by no means an enormous man, he was the tallest person in our training, and one of the few men. Though I believe that he is gentle by nature, I get the sense that he also carefully cultivates gentleness, probably in part to compensate for a tendency to seem imposing. The intensity of his focus, his fierce intelligence, and his penetrating insight may have contributed to an all-around sense of intimidation, were it not for his warm heart and gentle approach…Joe’s equanimity and gentleness were part of what made me so suspicious. I felt I was being lulled into something, perhaps made to accept some kind of touchy-feely, New Age pabulum. (Only much later would it occur to me, with a painful shock: somehow I had been taught to fear genuine kindness, to be suspicious of sentiment, to believe that if it wasn’t genuine poetry, it wasn’t genuine feeling. When, I wondered, did I become so infected with irony that I couldn’t receive uncomplicated love?) With time, though, I recognized that Joe epitomized the first rule of Rubenfeld Synergy Method: gentleness. Approaching our clients this way also communicates a deep kind of attention: when we are being gentle, we are listening, and leaving space for the client’s truth to emerge.”
~ Kamela Dolinova, Gentleness: the first word in our work
You only directly control three things in the entire world. Interestingly, none of these are other people. You are in charge of your thoughts, your words, and your actions. That’s it. Most of us neglect these three key items, however. Instead we direct our precious, limited energy on thinking and talking about how others should be different. This is fruitless and even lazy. As long as I’m focused on what’s wrong with you, I don’t need to pay any attention to improving me. Focus on you. Rather than hoping you can mysteriously change the fundamental personality traits of those around you, direct your energy on perfecting your own sweet self.
Devora Zack, CEO of Only Connect Consulting
Source: Writers Write
“I’m not fascinated by people who smile all the time. What I find interesting is the way people look when they are lost in thought, when their face becomes angry or serious, when they bite their lip, the way they glance, the way they look down when they walk, when they are alone and smoking a cigarette, when they smirk, the way they half smile, the way they try and hold back tears, the way when their face says they want to say something but can’t, the way they look at someone they want or love… I love the way people look when they do these things. It’s… beautiful.”
Sorry, can’t stop laughing.
ME: 6am. I cranked up my morning reading and scanned to find Kristin’s new post Play the Tape Through. Play the Tape Through. Play the tape through. Repeating the mantra in my head like a stylus stuck in a groove of a RCA gramophone. Shrieking again and again.
KRISTIN: “When you choose the behavior, you choose the consequences… -Dr. Phil.” It sounds so simple, but most people, myself included, have acted without stopping to play the tape through at one time or another- if not over and over again. Picture having a video tape of all your thoughts and actions and the consequences of those thoughts and actions. It is my guess that a whole lot of people would think twice if they could view the tape before ever acting in the first place.
ME: Roll the tape back. Way back. The play ends. Referees are on high alert…scanning the ice looking for trouble. Who’s the player who retaliates after the whistle blows? Who’s the one taking the extra shot? Who loses control? Satisfaction for 3 seconds. Then off to the penalty box. Some things never change.
I’ll tell you another secret, this one for your own good. You may think the past has something to tell you. You may think that you should listen, should strain to make out its whispers, should bend over backward, stoop down low to hear its voice breathed up from the ground, from the dead places. You may think there’s something in it for you, something to understand or make sense of.
But I know the truth: I know from the nights of Coldness. I know the past will drag you backward and down, have you snatching at whispers of wind and the gibberish of trees rubbing together, trying to decipher some code, trying to piece together what was broken. It’s hopeless. The past is nothing but a weight. It will build inside of you like a stone.
Take it from me: If you hear the past speaking to you, feel it tugging at your back and running its fingers up your spine, the best thing to do – the only thing – is run.
~ Becca @ Lost in Time
Adapted From You Are Worth Saving
“Most of us believe that to give, we first need to have something to give. The trouble with that is, that when we are taking stock of what we have, we almost always make accounting errors. Oscar Wilde once quipped, ‘Now-a-days, people know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.’ We have forgotten how to value things without a price tag. Hence, when we get to our most abundant gifts — like attention, insight, compassion — we confuse their worth because they’re, well, priceless.”
I received some backchannel email blow-back on my last post (10 Most Loved Jobs. And 10 Most Hated) and the related posts on Doing What You Love. (Whispering to me: Here you go again. Not everyone is in the situation YOU are in. Try to walk in someone else’s shoes for a change. Tired of you preaching about Doing. What. You. Love. Some of us can’t walk away to a lesser paying job to Do.What.We.Love. We need to pay the bills. We can’t relo away from aging parents, family, friends. We can’t walk away from our house and the mortgage. We need to keep the Don’t-Love-My-Job we have.)
OK. I get it. Yet so many are unhappy. Feel stuck. Are unfulfilled. Or are frustrated in their current station. The three articles below share some excellent advice on how to make the most of the current job you are in. My Cliff-Notes recap is summarized here:
“There’s no justiﬁcation for an employee to wait expectantly for the organization to furnish engagement, as if it’s something somebody can give you. The key to sustainable high engagement is taking primary responsibility for it. Now is the time to own your own engagement. (FastCompany)
Here’s the 3 self-help articles on the topic…
More info on: Nisargadatta Maharaj
Quote Source: spycnsweet
From Clay Christensen’s Life Lessons, Bloomberg Businessweek. By Bradford Wieners
"…How Will You Measure Your Life? is sharpest on staying motivated in your career and, above all, on parenting…To understand a company’s strategy, look at what they actually do rather than what they say they do. The same logic applies to one’s life. For example, ambitious people will reliably tell you that family, or being a mother or father, is the most important thing in their lives. Yet when pressed to choose between racing home to deal with a chaotic pre-bedtime scene and staying another hour at the office to solve a problem, they will usually keep working. It’s these small everyday decisions that reveal if you’re following a path to being the best possible spouse and parent. If your family matters to you, when you think about all the choices you’ve made with your time in a week, does your family come out on top?"
“Elizabeth Grace Saunders is a time management life coach who empowers clients around the world to go from feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and guilty to accomplishing more with peace and confidence.” Her post in the HBR Blog Network titled The Thought-Patterns of Success is terrific. I’ve shared a few nuggets below that resonated with me…
OK. Time to fess up. Are you one of the eight?