Month: January 2013

Wouldn’t It Be Cool If Liars Pants Really Did Catch On Fire?

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This article is written by a recovering hypocrite.  liar-liar-pants-on-fire

Yep, I’ve been a liar.  Still catch myself struggling from time to time with being totally honest.  It’s usually not “big whopper lies” now, although I’ve had my share of those in the past.  Now, it’s different kinds of battles I fight with truth.  Maybe I’m not alone?

Spinner– Masterfully turning the facts to spin them to make ones self look best in light of what people think is reality…

Cherry Picker- Only sharing bits and pieces, and strategically leaving out parts that aren’t “me friendly”…

Mime- In War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, the narrator states “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”… The result is the same when men fail to speak the truth, and in the end, honesty and truth are the casualties…

Magician- The Master of distraction moves peoples’ attention away from truth to stuff that doesn’t matter. The tact is to intentionally pull them away from truth, many times by turning others against each other, or creating competing crises.  And when they are successful, the truth seems to vanish…

Crusader- This strategy takes a moral high ground from an offensive posture.  “How dare you question my honesty, my truth?”, when of course the person being challenged knows they are defending a lie…

If your life & reputation depended on you being honest with me here and now, what which of these tactics is your weak spot?

So I’m trying… I’m working on giving up my spinning, cherry picking, miming, magical crusader ways.  I’m hoping you will too.

I don’t just want to be known as an honest man.  I want to be one.  Oh, and I don’t want my pants on fire either.

The BIG question…

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Does the petty junk of daily life overwhelm you sometimes?download

Shouldn’t there be more to life than which brand of cereal to buy or choosing which TV shows to DVR?

Life matters… and you only get one shot at it.  So instead of trudging through the trivial and muddling through the mundane, take the leap. Ask BIG questions.  Questions about life, about love and hope.  Be courageous and explore the mysteries of WHY, WHAT & HOW as they relate to Existence & Values, Dreams & Mysteries!

Here’s a BIG question… WHAT DO YOU WANT TO EXPERIENCE MORE THAN ANYTHING IN THE WORLD? In other words,

WHAT IS YOUR BIG DREAM?

Don’t answer fast… let it roll around in your soul for a bit.  Mull on it.  Sleep on it… maybe for a few days.

Be daring… be grand, but be specific; and remember, some really smart guy once said, “A dream without a plan is just a dream. A dream with a plan may become a reality.”, so how are you going to make it happen?

  • “I want to have a successful marriage” is a nice experience to strive for, but it’s not grand, and it’s surely not specific.
  • “I will find a way in every day to touch the soul of my spouse thru my actions or words; my goal will be to surprise her and remind her that I don’t love her as much as I did yesterday… I love her more.”  

Is that sinking in?

  • “I want to learn to scuba dive.”  Sounds like fun, but couldn’t you dream a little bigger?
  • “I want to learn to scuba dive so that I can dive at the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia!”  That’s big!

Still not sure about what it means to dream big?

  • “I want to help fight world hunger” is a passionate dream, but what are YOU gonna do about it?
  • “I want to help fight world hunger by adopting several people per year through Compassion International”; OR “I want to fight world hunger by adopting a needy child to come live with me.”

Marcel Proust said, “If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time.”

So what’s your BIG DREAM?

We Know What NOT to Do!

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To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less. —Andre Malrauxchariot-race-04

Leaders… pull your head out.  Just because you’re in charge doesn’t mean it’s OK to bully your staff, to kick around your team.  Don’t believe me?  Go read I Kings 12…  Here’s a quick story about leadership… good stuff if you ask me…

Rehoboam traveled to Shechem where all Israel had gathered to inaugurate him as king. Jeroboam had been in Egypt, where he had taken asylum from King Solomon; when he got the report of Solomon’s death he had come back. Rehoboam assembled Jeroboam and all the people.

They said to Rehoboam, “Your father made life hard for us—worked our fingers to the bone. Give us a break; lighten up on us and we’ll willingly serve you.”   “Give me three days to think it over, then come back,” Rehoboam said.   

King Rehoboam talked it over with the elders who had advised his father when he was alive: “What’s your counsel? How do you suggest that I answer the people?”  They said, “If you will be a servant to this people, be considerate of their needs and respond with compassion, work things out with them, they’ll end up doing anything for you.”

So what kind of leader will you be?

By the way, Rehoboam didn’t take their advice… instead, he listened to some of his young, arrogant, inexperienced friends who told him to say,

‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. If you think life under my father was hard, you haven’t seen the half of it. My father thrashed you with whips; I’ll beat you bloody with chains!’

So THAT’S what the new king told the people…   Seriously?  What a dork!  Things did NOT go well for him…

“When all Israel realized that the king hadn’t listened to a word they’d said, they stood up to him and said,  

‘Get lost, David! 

We’ve had it with you, son of Jesse! 

Let’s get out of here, Israel, and fast! 

From now on, David, mind your own business.’

And with that, they left. But Rehoboam continued to rule those who lived in the towns of Judah. When King Rehoboam next sent out Adoniram, head of the workforce, the Israelites ganged up on him, pelted him with stones, and killed him. King Rehoboam jumped in his chariot and fled to Jerusalem as fast as he could. Israel has been in rebellion against the Davidic regime ever since.”

You can be a positional leader that runs rough shod over your team or organization… but it WILL catch up with you.

LESSONS FOR THE DAY?

  1. Seek wise counsel, and then follow it…
  2. Be careful about accepting advice from young cocky fatheads…
  3. If you choose to follow bad advice, keep your chariot ready to go…
  4. “If you will be a servant to this people, be considerate of their needs and respond with compassion, work things out with them, they’ll end up doing anything for you.”

 

JARGONAUTICS- The word for today is “Fiscalicious”

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JARGONAUTICS- The study of new JARGON as it invades our lives…  Here’s today’s lesson…save-money-spending-money-800x8001

Fiscalicious- adj.- Having an insatiable appetite for spending someone else’s money in an irresponsible manner.  Example- “Fiscalicious government officials continue to drive our country further and further into debt by spending more than we take in.”  To hell with budgets, financial accountability, even common sense… SPEND, SPEND, SPEND!

It’s ironic that fiscalicious behavior would be ridiculous for most of us to ever consider doing in our own personal lives, but a large portion of our country doesn’t seem to have a problem with this.  We need a better common sense approach to spending than being “fiscalicious” if we don’t intend to deed California over to the Chinese in the next 5 years (wait, would that be such a bad idea?) Here a couple of quick suggestions that not only apply to Congress, but to the average Joe or Jane.

  1. Wake the Heck Up!  Be Aware.  Know How Much You Have to Work With Financially.  Seriously people, although your benefits and gross salary package are interesting fodder for dinner party conversations, the only real numbers that matter to the people you purchase from is how much actually comes into your checking account. Net pay.  Actual cash to you.  Period.  Know it.  
  2. Be Smart!  Save for a Rainy Day, or a Crappy Day, or a Broke Day!  If your income is steady, great.  If it’s seasonal or fluctuates, then be smart and spend less when you have less, and save back when you have extra.  Even if your salary never changes, your expenses will change from time to time; the AC goes out in your car, the hot water heater springs a leak, or the kids need braces.  A great rule of thumb is to save 10% of every check for these kinds of problems.  Ultimately you want to have a fund for emergencies, and as much as 6 months to a year in salary put back.
  3. Plan the Spend, and Spend the Plan.  People think of “budgets” as something ugly or mean to control spending.  Just the opposite, budgets put you in the driver’s seat, letting you be in charge of choosing what’s most important in your life, and what deserves your hard earned dollars.  Heck, call it a “spending plan” if it makes you feel better.  Of course you’re going to need to deviate from the plan occasionally; it’s not a handcuff, but a guiding hand for your spending.
  4. Grow Up, and Make the Hard Decisions Easy!  Life is too Awesome to Let Money Worries Rule Your Life!  OK, it’s not very fun to scrutinize your expenses and suddenly realize how stupid you’ve been to spend your take home pay on Chinese take out, or on underwater yoga lessons.  But if you want to buy that new car, maybe a nice spaghetti dinner at home is better than eating out, and free zumba lessons on public access TV is a wiser choice for your health and wallet than a personal trainer.

We have huge financial challenges before us as a nation, but we’re not prepared or wise enough to influence change on a national level until we get our own individual money matters under control!  Don’t be a “fiscalicious” fool, when just a few important choices stand between you and a better life you’ve been hoping for!

7 Choices of a Loser Boss…

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Loser Boss…

Don’t want to have one? Then don’t be one… 

Loser bosses tend to:Image

1. Disgust themselves… you can’t hate yourself and lead others well… so love yourself instead.

2. Diminish others… a weak ego props itself up with the carcasses of others… so build up others instead.

3. Despise counsel… loser bosses see no value in the advice, directions, suggestions or warnings of others… so seek wise counsel instead.

4. Divide & conquer… uncertain leaders withhold information or cause dissension as a means of crowd control… so enhance team spirit instead.

5. Dash hopes… jaded bosses sew cynicism as a habit and as a reflection of their own misery… so inspire a vision instead.

Don’t be a loser boss.

Don’t be a loser leader. Losers are wieners.

The world needs winners.  Be a winner, not a wiener.

JARGONAUTICS- “Execucrat”

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article-new_ds-photo_getty_article_142_238_78228484_XSJARGONAUTICS- The study of new JARGON as it invades our lives…  Here’s today’s lesson…

“You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

EXECUCRAT- noun

1) An executive who oversteps his/her authority or good leadership sense, abusing their position of power;

2) A boss or manager who places his/her personal or ideological agenda above the good of the organization by making authoritarian decisions counter to the general consensus of the organization or team members;

3) A politician whose votes, actions, choices and message run counter to the general will of the those whom he/she represents, and yet they continue to pursue legislation and policies that are based less on fact and reason but more on personal prejudice and political persuasion.

“The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say  ‘I.’ And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say ‘I.’ They don’t think ‘I.’ They think ‘we’; they think ‘team.’  They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but ‘we’ gets the credit…. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task  done.” — Peter Drucker

Shower Time Is The Right Time

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funny-shower-true-Favim.com-256641Why is it that some of my best, most creative ideas come while I’m in the shower?  I don’t have my computer, iPad or a notepad handy to write it down.  So with soap in my eyes a stumble out of the shower to the counter where my phone sits and dictate a quick thought or note.  Back in the shower again my mind is racing and all kinds of good stuff is running through my brain (and it’s not the shampoo!).  But why?  More precisely, why THERE?  I’m sure there are some deep psychological reasons for it, but here’s my take.

  • I’m Relaxed-  My shower is not only a place where the dirt comes off, but the stress as well.  Sore muscles invigorated, the cleansing power of the steam and water… The weight of my business decisions, deadlines, appointments and finances washes off and down the drain, if only for a few moments;
  • I’m Comfortable- I love a hot shower.  The water feels and sounds refreshing, the smells of the soap and shampoo are pleasant, and in my “au natural” state, there is not a belt pinching my waistline or a need for any kind of pretentiousness that comes with being in the company of others.
  • I’m Free- The shower is one of those places where you give yourself permission to just veg out.  Let your mind wander.  Dream.  It’s amazing when it happens- when suddenly from those mental wanderings and dreaming come  a flash, an idea, a new vision!

Can I offer you a suggestion that I’ve recently made to myself?  Be selfish, and be purposeful in setting aside time to just RELAX, get COMFORTABLE, and let yourself BE FREE.  Is the shower the best place to let that happen?  Maybe.  It could be that you make a date with your “creativity” on Tuesday mornings from 6 to 8 AM, in your sweats and T-shirt, with coffee on your back porch. This might be the best place where you can get alone, get relaxed, comfortable and free enough to dream.  For you it could be heading out of the house on Saturday afternoons wearing your favorite pair of jeans and a hoodie, where you end up exploring a library or bookstore.  Night owls, it might mean curling up on the couch at midnight, surrounded with munchies and some jazz playing in the background might… that just might be your spot and time.  Just do it.

Creativity- it’s inside you, waiting to come out!  Make it happen!  Release yourself to be creative, and to open your mind, heart and spirit up to the wonder that is YOU.  I’m done for now, take care… it’s time for me to go take a shower.