Yup. This about sums up the week!
Source: Thank you Anake
Source: Thank you Anake
I am losing precious days.
I am degenerating into a machine for making money.
I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men.
I must break away
and get out into the mountains
to learn the news.
~ John Muir (1838-1914)
I grow tensions
in a wood where
Each wound is perfect,
encloses itself in a tiny
Pain is a flower like that one,
like this one,
like that one,
like this one.”
- Robert Creeley, ”The Flower”
Robert Creeley (1926 – 2005) was a major American poet of the 20th century. He was born in Arlington, MA and was a teacher, a scholar, and a fierce presence: “I look to words, and nothing else, for my own redemption either as a man or poet.” He lost the sight in one eye in a car accident when he was two years old. The loss of his eye and his father, both early in life, affected Creeley profoundly. For the first half of his life he travelled as an outsider, his heavy drinking often leading to brawls with friends and strangers. Creeley was sometimes an angry young man who wanted “the world to narrow to a match flare”. Unable to sign up for World War II because of his sight problem, he joined the American Field Service and drove ambulances in India and Burma. He returned home with two medals…Just days before he died, he gave his final reading — in Charlottesville, Virginia — breathing from what he called “portable wee canisters of oxygen about the size of champagne bottles”. In between the poems Creeley said very simple things that rang true: “There has been so much war and pain during the last century. We need to learn how to be kind; kindness is what makes us human.”
(Read full Bio by Robert Adamson @ Jacket 26)
“Although people say they want to be thanked more often at work, fewer than 50% of Americans polled for the John Templeton Foundation, a philanthropic organization, reported that they would be very likely to thank salespeople, their mail carriers, or cleaning crews, and just 15% express daily gratitude to friends or colleagues. 74% never or rarely express gratitude to their bosses—but 70% said they’d feel better about themselves if their bosses were more grateful.”
“I’d like to answer all my phone calls, return all emails in a timely manner and mean the how-are-yous; not hide my broken hallelujahs, not save my gratitude for characters in books. Put love on sale, like I should…I’d like to whisper to only a few souls under a blanket instead of shouting at hundreds over these virtual rooftops. I’d like to inhale people and exhale skin, explore huggability and memorize the art of breathing…I’d like to get up once a week with no other agenda than laziness in bed, no time, no musts or shoulds or have tos. Eat breakfast for dinner, juice for lunch, and talk to trees, and cry, walk backwards, love my solitude, and understand my doing by undoing.”
~ Andréa Balt
WHAT IS IT?
WHAT IS IT?
GET IT OFF!
GET IT OFF!
GET IT OFF!
“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
It opened with the intention of a feather-light, human touch of good will.
And it hasn’t closed.
Like a snag on your favorite sweater that you keep pulling and pulling.
It was 4 weeks ago.
End to end it couldn’t have lasted more than 7 seconds.
She’s an executive assistant on another floor.
I was passing by to get to a meeting. In a hurry. (“‘Only the sick man and the ambitious,’ wrote Ortega, ‘are in a hurry.’” DK: Which one are you?)
“Good morning x?”
“Really Dave, you’ve worked with me for how long, 5-10 years? And you still don’t know my name.”
“I’m so sorry,” stealing a glance at her name plate. She caught the glance. Damage done. Twice, in seconds.
Later that week, I pass by her desk. And pause.
She talking to a colleague.
“I refuse to speak to him.”
He turns to me: “Wow, what have you done to her?”
Colaianni’s whispers: “When I hear my own name, I have as much a sense of it entering my body through my back or my hand or my chest as through my ears… “
Note to Self: And when I don’t hear my own name or someone calls me by the wrong name, I have as much a sense of it entering my body through the back of their hand to my face, my chest, the back of my head…
“All things are engaged in writing their history. The planet, the pebble, goes attended by its shadow. The rolling rock leaves its scratches on the mountain, the river, its channel in the soil, the animal, its bones in the stratum, the fern and leaf, their modest epitaph in the coal. The falling drop makes its sculpture in the sand or the stone. Not a foot steps into the snow or along the ground, but prints, in characters more or less lasting, a map of its march. Every act of the person inscribes itself in the memories of its fellows, and in his own manners and face. The air is full of sounds, the sky of tokens, the ground is all memoranda and signatures, and every object covered over with hints which speak to the intelligent.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Credits: Portrait: Stephan Vanfleteren. Emerson quote – Thank you Makebelieveboutique. Shakespeare Quote for blog title “What’s in a name?” – Soulsentences. Ortego quote: George Sheehan – Running & Being. Louis Colaianni quote from The Joy of Phonetics and Accents.
“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...]
Source: Hungarian Soul
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.
Call a friend.
Send a thank you note.
Interrupt the pace.
Stop the frenzy.
Push your chair away from your desk.
Close your eyes.
You are now walking barefoot.
Surf and sand rushing between your toes.
Say the words:
Peace be with you.
Break the chain.
Do one thing.
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
“I recently interviewed David Burns, author of “Feeling Good”… In his more than 35,000 therapy sessions he has learned that the pursuit of perfection is arguably the surest way to undermine happiness and productivity…
Have you ever obsessed over a report when your boss said it was already plenty good enough? Have you ever lost an object of little importance but just had to keep looking for it? Do colleagues often tell you, “Just let it go”?…
This left me wondering: what if trying to be average could actually accelerate your success?…
Overachievers have such high expectations of themselves that their “average” might be another person’s “really good.” So instead of pushing yourself to give 100% (or 110%, whatever that means) you can go for giving 75% or 50% of what you usually might offer. This idea is captured succinctly by the mantra, “Done is better than perfect”…
The word “perfect” has a Latin root; literally, it means “made well” or “done thoroughly.” Another translation would be “complete.” And yet today, we use it to mean flawless…
To understand why, we need to understand the role of fear in perfectionism: “If I don’t perfectly [fill in the blank] something terrible will happen.” Often perfectionists are so used to this anxiety that they no longer even consciously recognize it; it’s just the fuel that keeps them working, working, working and honing, honing, honing… [Read more...]
I’m on a conference call.
A long conference call.
The discussion is stretching and swirling in a loop.
I can feel my patience growing thin.
Is this normal brainstorming?
Or part of the creative process?
Or is this a complete mess?
Or is my lack of sleep clouding my judgment?
My mind drifts.
I call up one of my favorite management books: QBQ by John Miller.
John would suggest that I ask the Question Behind the Question?
Why am I amped up?
What have I done to contribute to the rudderless direction of this call?
I think about that for a moment.
Nah, can’t be me. Of course not.
I let the debate go on. I listen in silently hoping the solve is coming.
I turn to gnawing on a finger nail.
Aren’t you too old to be biting your finger nails? Disgusting habit. [Read more...]
Ahhhh yes. The joy and creature comforts of flying commercial airlines. Close your eyes and inhale – - and wedge into your too-tight old jeans…with your next door neighbor.
Read more at wsj.com: The Incredible Shrinking Plane Seat
Research says: For every additional minute the average American spends online recreationally, they spend roughly 16 fewer seconds working, nine fewer seconds watching TV, and seven fewer seconds sleeping.
See full article @ HBR Blog Network - The More Time We Spend Online, the Less Time We Spend Working
“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
“You want to know the meaning of life? This is your highest calling: You are called into the dynamic co-creation of the cosmos. This breath is your canvas and your brush. These are the raw materials for your art, for the life you are making. Nothing is off limits. Your backyard, your piano, your paint brush, your conversation, Rwanda, New Orleans, Iraq, your marriage, your soul. You’re making a living with every step you take. So when you make a living, do not merely make money. Why settle for cash when joy is on the line? You feel a thrill when you dance, when you sing, when you finish your poem; even when you sweep the room you see order pressing back against the chaos. So when you create, never settle for making a living — at least not the way that the world might define that phrase. When you make a living, you are speaking a new world into existence. You are creating grace within the confines, you are co-signing God’s blank checks.”
~ Jon Foreman, Lead Singer & Guitarist of Switchfoot. Excerpt from Meaning of Life.
“…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?
I’m on the 5:01 a.m. train to Grand Central.
I’m riffling through two days of morning papers. Without breaking stride, I shift to chopping through a small mountain of emails. I pause. I can feel my pulse accelerating. Work mode. Game time and it’s only 5:45 am.
The train moves through the tunnel. Internet connection is lost. I close my eyes for a moment looking for a few minutes of rest. But it’s not rest I find, it’s restless.
I shift to Kindle.
Elise sent me a link to a book over the weekend. I’m a few pages in. My mind drifts. I worked with her, could it be 9 years ago? Where does the time go?
Describe her in 5 words: Centered. Gentle. Peaceful. Kind. Goodness.
I get off the train. I’m walking briskly down 42th street. City is alive at 6 am. I cross Park. Madison. Fifth. Avenue of the Americas. Times Square. ABC’s Good Morning America is setting up outside on Broadway and 44th street…crowd milling.
I let her down. I remember the look in her eyes. I couldn’t have been more than a three minute conversation 9 years ago, and it’s a piercing tattoo etched in my mind. Thoughtless, wrong, self-serving.
Will this ever get tired? (Not yet for me)
Related Post: Let’s hit it again (Go ahead, you know you want to watch the clip again)
It’s my third email of the day.
A member on the team is getting accolades.
I flashback to a conversation with his manager three years ago.
“He’s rough. Not sure he has it. Big Risk.“
“There’s talent there. Trust me.”
I send him a note: “I’m proud we’re on the same team.”
Seconds later my email is flashing with his reply.
“You made my day.”
I push my chair back.
And turn my back to my desk and stare out the window.
Good to be wrong.
Our heart survives between hammers,
just as the tongue between the teeth
is still able to praise.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
It was a mid-afternoon meeting.
On a quiet day.
We’re sequestered for 90 minutes.
I’m in a listening role.
I sit back and settle.
And look forward to taking it all in,
in my mid-day sabbatical.
I eye the candy dish.
Do I need this? Of course not.
My eyes take inventory.
Red and White Mints. The Swirly type.
Two Orange Ovals with form fitted plastic wrappers.
One of something dark, odd shaped and foreign. How long you been sitting there?
Then my eyes land on the prize.
One diamond sporting a shiny, green carrot top. Yellow dots.
A Hard Strawberry Candy.
My hands greedily ferret to the bottom of the dish.
I remove the wrapper under the table to keep noise down.
And pop it into my mouth.
The strawberry sugars drip down my throat.
I swirl it to coat my mouth.
I continue to slowly chew and savor.
The candy loses its shape. It becomes gooey.
“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”
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?
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...]
Michael Brown prompted the wheels to turn last night.
And the wheels on the bus go round and round.
“The thing is, I could choose to replace the tape with a new one.”
But what tape is playing?
And what tape will be playing?
The Good Enough tune?
The Patience beat?
The Acceptance rap?
The Gratitude melody?
Or does a sharp gust of wind blow it over.
And scramble it all up.
Y. That perfect letter. The wishbone, fork in the road, empty wineglass. The question we ask over and over.
— Marjorie Celona, Y
“What are we supposed to be looking for?” Stanley asked him.
“You’re not looking for anything.
You’re digging to build character”…
[Stanley] glanced helplessly at his shovel. It wasn’t defective.
He was defective.
— Louis Sachar, Holes
“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...]
“…It turns out that when we decide how we feel about someone, we are making not one judgment, but two. The criteria that count are what we call “strength” and “warmth.” Strength is a person’s capacity to make things happen with abilities and force of will. When people project strength, they command our respect. Warmth is the sense that a person shares our feelings, interests, and view of the world. When people project warmth, we like and support them…”
“…While each of us exhibit both strong and warm qualities, the authors found through various studies and research that we often fail to utilize the right amounts of each. This is because, although both strength and warmth are positive traits, they can become negative if not balanced for and catered to your specific situation. Awareness is key. Strength and warmth are controllable traits we use in every interaction we have—via our tone of voice, the words we use, how we stand and walk, what we wear, and even how we cut our hair…”
Read more @ 800ceoread
Find this book @ Amazon
Excerpts From The Economist – In Praise of Laziness:
“THERE is a never-ending supply of business gurus telling us how we can, and must, do more. Sheryl Sandberg urges women to “Lean In” if they want to get ahead. John Bernard offers breathless advice on conducting “Business at the Speed of Now”. Michael Port tells salesmen how to “Book Yourself Solid”…
Yet the biggest problem in the business world is not too little but too much—too many distractions and interruptions, too many things done for the sake of form, and altogether too much busy-ness. The Dutch seem to believe that an excess of meetings is the biggest devourer of time: they talk of vergaderziekte, “meeting sickness”. However, a study last year…suggests that it is e-mails: it found that highly skilled office workers spend more than a quarter of each working day writing and responding to them.
Which of these banes of modern business life is worse remains open to debate. But what is clear is that office workers are on a treadmill of pointless activity. Managers allow meetings to drag on for hours. Workers generate e-mails because it requires little effort and no thought. An entire management industry exists to spin the treadmill ever faster.
Two questions: Which one of the four below are you? (Assuming you are one of the four.) Which one is optimal?
Where ‘A’= Time Spent On What You Love to Do.
Where ‘B’= Time Spent on Your Job.
Where ‘C’= Amount of Your Free Time.
Where ‘P’= What You Love To Do.
Where ’J’ = Your Job.
Chart Source: Great Work Done From 5 to 9 @ Indexed by Jessica Hagy
You’re always in a rush,
or else you’re too exhausted to have a proper conversation.
the long hours,
the broken sleep
have all crept into your being and
become part of you,
so everyone can see it,
in your posture,
the way you move and talk.
~ Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
I watched from a distance. A short, feisty, scrappy, spit-fire. A Chihuahua.
Place of Birth: The Bronx. With accompanying accent.
Deep skills. A reputation for getting things done, but doing so and leaving a large wake. She didn’t tolerate fools gladly. She was quick to show up colleagues. Result: A bulls-eye on her back.
It was January, 2011. It was a 12-minute interview. I told her that the job was hers sans the wake creation. I would have zero tolerance for air turbulence. I created enough of my own.
I went on to give her the pre-game disclosure. And motivational speech:
You’re playing on the A team now. Out of junior varsity.
We use proper English in our memos and letters.
No slang. Or whatever that is coming out of your mouth.
I need to show up at the right airport. At the right meeting. On time. All the time.
No crying when your feelings get hurt. You want a hug, get a dog.
I had better not find HR in my office on any antics.
You won’t keep up. Just accept it. [Read more...]
“I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.”
Related Post: Blue Nights
…In our haste to embrace a 24/7 lifestyle that makes increasing demands on our time, nocturnal hours once reserved for sociability, reflection and rest have been usurped. “What art thou good for … but only for love and fornication?” the character “Night” is asked in John Dryden’s comedy “Amphitryon” (1690). Today, not only is one-fifth of the labor force employed in shift work, but many day-to-day tasks (grocery shopping, for instance) are performed after dark. Silence and solitude fall prey to around-the-clock television and the allure of the Internet. Texting teenagers take their iPhones to bed. Burning the candle at both ends, we struggle to streamline sleep with the aid of plush pillows and prescription drugs and, in the process, impair our age-old ability to dream, a wellspring of ideas as inspiring as a starlit sky.
~A. Roger Ekirch, a review on Paul Bogard’s book titled The End of Night.
Same. Time up each day.
Same. I-95 route to work.
Same. Desk. Chair. Computer.
Same. Head down. Back to back. 12 hours.
Same. 1-95 Route home.
Same. Time to bed.
Try. Take a different route to work.
Try. Take a walk. Leave phone behind.
Try. Call a friend. Catch up.
Try. Find a space. A moment. A breath.
Image Credit: Telegraph.co.uk - Photo of Footprints are carved into the floorboards by monk who has prayed at the same spot for 20 years
Related Posts: Driving Series
Source: Carl Richards