Do Everyone a Favor and Keep My Ego out of It

These truths are self evident (to the thoughtful):

  • Our opinions are merely “junk mail” until they are requested.

  • People who know us can predict the content of  our “lectures”( and translate them to “Blah, blah, blah”).

  • Appreciating someone and showing that appreciation by stopping, listening, and keeping my ego out of it, trumps everything else I might say or do.


Best Argument for Listening to Someone You Don’t Agree with

For many years I didn’t get along well with bosses. I pretended. I talked behind their backs. I thought they were idiots.

Unfortunately for me, they were the people who could tell me the truth about myself.

Saying “What can I do to fix this?” would have been much more effective than dissing their opinions. Arguing and defending my own perspective is what I chose to do instead. It got me nowhere.

When I finally got humble enough to see myself from the outside, my world rearranged itself into peace and success.

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“Sometimes you can’t see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.”

My Scale Often Needs Calibration

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Some days I measure myself as hot stuff, when, indeed, I am clueless.

Some days I measure myself as worthless, when, indeed, I did my best and learned a lesson.

Sometimes I measure someone else as an A**hole, when, indeed, that person was facilitating my future.

Sometimes I arrogantly measure myself as more valuable than others, when, indeed, others have been holding me up.

And, then, there were those times, when I weighed myself in as a total disappointment, but time would tell a different story.

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As long as I don’t put too much confidence in my own “scale,” I can feel big and feel small and learn from both.

In My Hand I Hold…Only This Moment

“…only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand–and melting like a snowflake.” –Francis Bacon

Sometimes I am shocked into considering the ridiculous brevity of my life by…looking up at the vast universe or by looking back into the history of generations of people who have already lived and died. Sometimes it is a brutal confrontation with death in a dream or in an unexpected tragedy. But, when this happens, my life takes on the more noble qualities of:

  • a sense of urgency to live fully today
  • a sensitivity about what really matters
  • a renewed commitment to live with courage, compassion, and surrender

I can make the sparkle and the melting count today. I can do what I was born to do with cheerful abandon.

Or, I can fret, fear, despair, complain, and squander what little I have left.

(encore post from July 2014)

When “Caring” Backfires


I am following a “caring script,” doing what I think is expected of me.


I want you to think I am caring.

Strings attached.

I will care for you, when, and only if, you do something for me in return.


I am being “caring” because I want you to know that I am superior in character or knowledge.


Caring must be done for its own sake.

When this is not the case, we are not doing anyone any favors.


The Illusion of Knowing People

The trick is

Getting still enough to see past the tower 

Of our own shadow

Into theirs

To slow down enough to take a walk

Into their secrecy

Leaving ours

To walk barefoot on their path of fallen leaves

Pushing aside the undergrowth

And the tentacles of our own briars

That choke their young

Untended foliage starving for daylight

A good Friday Question:

How long has it been since we simply admired those who grow beside us…without bringing our pruning shears?



According to research presented in Daniel Pink’s book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timingthe single best predictor of a good employee/boss relationship is how prompt the boss is at returning calls, texts, and emails. 

In my experience, it is also a good predictor of…

  • a successful client/vendor relationship
  • a happy romantic relationship
  • salesperson/potential customer relationship
  • any other relationship I can think of

I have met some very brilliant and interesting people, many with whom I would have loved to work or get to know better, yet, if they failed to show a sense of urgency, stood me up, or constantly rescheduled appointments, I moved on.

The most common excuse is “I am too busy,” yet, the best bosses (salespeople, partners, etc.) are never too busy for their priorities.

When we wonder why relationships aren’t working better, it might be good to start here.

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I’m Working on Building Dikes of Courage

Maybe it was from my steady childhood diet of horror movies, but somehow I became one of the biggest chickens of all time.

  • My heart races at the drop of a hat.
  • My stomach turns at the slightest thought of trouble.
  • Fear and resistance are my first responses to the smallest challenge.

To counteract these default settings, I have learned to review a mental “tape” of my bold-people heroes when in high-stake environments.

If I don’t, you will find me running for cover or whimpering in the corner.

What a difference it has made for me when…

  • confronted with an undesirable task
  • someone needs to go first
  • there is danger
  • I might be rejected or mocked

Choose “Productive.” Choose Happy.

Choose happy?

How naïve of me, right, in light of the reality of mass killings, brutal war, global tragedies, and random horror?

Yet, those realities are why we must choose productive thoughts over dark thoughts that harm us and others. You may not pick up an AR-15 and start shooting, but some will.

Obviously, we cannot choose to live in a place where there are no disasters, killers, or despots. We cannot choose our genetics, or the opportunities we do not have, or who our parents were, or how we were raised, or what we have been forced to live without, or what disabilities we have.

But, right now, we can choose to make peace with that reality (however unpleasant it is) and take responsibility for making the best of it instead of choosing hatred and anger for those who have taken life, or who have what we want, or who have treated us unjustly.

Letting go of pain is not easy.

But, it is easier than holding on and allowing it to breed more darkness in the short lives we have.

First Sign of Blindness

First sign of blindness is a compulsion to point out the blindness of others.

When I meet someone who…

  • Does not rush to condemn others

  • Shares responsibility for dysfunction

  • Resists justifying themselves

  • Doesn’t resist outside perspectives, and

  • Doesn’t feel compelled to tell me how good they are or how blameless their opinions are…

I believe in the miracle of sight.