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What's Your Story?

Look, if you want to move people you've got to share your story. In order to share your story, you've got to know your story!

So, what's your story? I'm asking because I just spent 2 hours today in a board meeting where I spoke frankly to the non-profit about their lack of a story. They have their annual giving campaign coming up and they are once again asking people to open up their pocketbooks and shell out their hard earned cash. Well, if you don't have a compelling story to share about why I should give you my hard-earned money and what kind of impact my donation is going to have, I'm going to be less inclined to donate.

But, tell me what you are about, tell me why you care and what you are doing to make the world a better place, and tell me how I can join you in your mission, and you betcha I'll share some dough. I want to help people who are helping others and I'm always looking for a good cause.

So what's your story? This principle doesn'…
Recent posts

Fix Weaknesses vs. Focus on Strengths

I recently attended a lecture by Paul Allen, founder of Ancestry.com, and he was talking about his newest venture. It's a business based on the strengths finder assessment that helps people discover and pursue their strengths. He's a firm believer that each of us has special talents and strengths we should focus on. He's not a fan of public education wherein we teach and treat all kids the same. He shared this famous Einstein quote:

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
I agree that all of us have unique gifts and talents, but I think there is value in a liberal arts education. I support the idea of exposing individuals to as much as possible so they can discover additional talents. I mean not all of us come out of the womb composing music like Mozart. I don't recall any natural talents I exhibited as a child, but I do know I developed many a talent over the years through …

The "Hell Yeah!" Principle

I'm reading a really good book right now called Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. I don't recall the individual who said it, but I've decided to adopt the Hell Yeah! principle. The Hell Yeah! principle means I say "no" to everything that I don't feel like saying "Hell Yeah!" to.

I've spent my entire life doing things I don't really want to do simply because someone asked me to do it. I've allowed guilt, and a desire to please, or at least not to hurt someone else's feelings, rule my actions. This behavior has allowed everyone else's agenda to become my agenda.

The past few months, heck ever since "losing my religion," I've decided that this type of behavior is not something I want to continue. Instead of acting out of obligation, obedience, or duty, I've decided to only respond to those calls that excite my being.  If the invitation, request, activity, belief, or idea, does not enthuse me, I don't do it. And …

Family Devotional

Every night something special happens in my home. I call it Family Devotional. It's pretty simple. I gather the kids around and I teach. What do I teach? Whatever I'm learning, or anything worth discussing. 
Sometimes we watch TED talks; sometimes I share excerpts from books I'm reading; oft times I relate a story from work or some experience I had that day. My thoughts stimulate my children's. I have no agenda besides teaching a principle and allowing the conversation and discussion to unfold. 
The best is that my children all like attending. I don't have to twist anyone's arm, and they all stay as long as we keep talking. Even when everyone is tired, or someone has homework and I tell them they are free to go, no one wants to leave early or miss any of the discussion.
I am astounded that my children show up for family devotional each night with excitement. I mean it seems that most teenagers wouldn't want to spend their evenings in an ad-hoc family discu…

Gone. Gone. Gone.

I have been reading a great book this week by Tim Ferriss called “Tools of Titans.” I am enjoying the succinct summaries of his favorite podcast profiles. Glimpses into great minds=priceless!
One individual, I don’t remember which, talked about the power of the “Gone” meditation. The "Gone" meditation is simple, and I used it several times on my hike down into, along, and out of the Grand Canyon yesterday. The "gone" technique is useful for times when you are trying to meditate and your thoughts simply run wild (monkey brain). Rather than freak out about your inability to still your thoughts, just become the silent observer of your thoughts and quietly say “gone” as soon as you notice each thought that arises, leaving. If you practice watching your thoughts arise, and then depart, you will begin to notice how fleeting your thoughts are, and when you are tempted to obsess over a thought or get caught up in cyclical thinking, or addictive behaviors, you can tap into y…

Laughs Per Day

What if there were a minimum daily requirement for laughter? Martha Beck believes laughter is an essential ingredient for a joyful life. In her book The Joy Diet (a must read), she discusses the benefits of laughing every day.

I remember reading about Norman Cousins. He was diagnosed with a terminal illness and used laughter to cure it. He watched reruns of the 3 Stooges every day and found that his pain tolerance increased in direct proportion to the time he spent laughing. In fact, if he laughed for 3 hours each morning, his day was pain free. He chronicles his healing experience in his landmark book:
Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient: Reflections on Healing and Regeneration
I haven't yet read it, but I intend to. 
Anyhow, I believe in laughter. It always lifts my mood. In fact, when I think of some of my favorite people to be around, they are people who either stimulate my mind or make me laugh. 
I can't feel mad or sad when I'm laughing. I've also n…

Living the Life of my Dreams

I had a remarkable realization today as I walked in the rain.

I'm living the life of my dreams!

Seriously, I have everything a woman could want: healthy body and mind, rewarding and high-paying job, delightful children, loving husband, fun co-workers, cool friends, awesome family, gorgeous home, amazing yard, reliable transportation, expendable income that allows me to do the following: buy whatever I want, take my kids on fun trips, eat out, improve my home and surroundings, help others, pamper myself, afford health care, and pursue many other enjoyable hobbies such as reading, writing, hiking, yoga, gymnastics, walking, traveling, pondering, organizing, cleaning, and eating.

What more could a woman want?

Honestly, if I had to say what more I could want it would simply be this. . . and it's really just a fun fantasy (I do think it will one day become a reality though). I like to fantasize about going on some kind of sabbatical, where I trounce off to India in total Eat, Pray,…