Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012
I was recently on a plane and the flight attendant spoke up about the safety information she was about to share. She said, "It is better to know this information and not need it than to need it and not know it. This information could save your life." Good point!
Here is a list of "truths" that may save your life—specifically save you from living a life that EVEN YOU believe is not worth living.
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Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2012
If you have a teenager, you know. If you have a sibling or a spouse that you desperately want to see live differently, you know. If you—looking at your own life—ever had a way of living that you couldn't bring yourself to change, you know.
Information does not change us. Logic has little to no effect on us in terms of moving us in a specific direction. If we implemented 10% of the information in the books we've read—we would be exponentially richer, thinner, smarter, and happier. Read More »
Posted Friday, January 27, 2012
I'm into authenticity. Obviously.
Authenticity is one of those things though. It's like the idea of having a home cooked dinner with the family and eating around the dinner table. Everyone agrees that this is how we should eat and how families should be. The problem with it is that it seems so damn impractical 80% of the time. So as a culture we eat more in cars than we do around a dinner table. YIKES!
The same is true with authenticity. We all agree that the truth is better than lies. We all agree that we we should be ourselves and not what other people want us to be. Here we are again though—80% of the time it just seems so impractical. What if I don't get promoted? What if I don't get hired? What if I hurt someone's feelings? What if my friends who seem to like me leave when they find out the truth?
So we lie.
Or we stretch the truth.
Or we hide parts of ourselves.
We certainly don't live our truth fully, out loud, every day.
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Posted Monday, January 16, 2012
So…I'm a recovering achiever. You know the type. The kid that sits in the front row in every class in high school and college. The adult that goes shopping for the perfect shirts and ties for work so the boss is impressed. The never miss a deadline type—even if it means staying up until 3am and getting up at 4am to get back to work. Some of you might have called me a kiss up. Whatever—I got A's and I got promoted.
I still think sitting in the front row is a good idea. I've got a kid in high school and a kid in college and I would definitely encourage them to sit as close to the front as possible. Why? Because when you sit in the front row you A) have to pay attention and B) you get a much better idea of what is most important to the teacher; we all know that only part of doing well in school is knowing the material—to get A's, you have to know what matters to the teacher.
Somewhere along the way though—I decided that sitting in the front row wasn't giving me everything I wanted in life. It certainly gave me nice paychecks. I got to drive a nice car, live in a nice neighborhood, have nice friends, go to a nice health club. All so very NICE.
The new question. The one that kept me up at night was this: What was it all costing? Read More »
Posted Monday, January 09, 2012
Today is January 9th and it still hasn't gotten that cold here in the Chicago area. We've had a few mornings with some slight flurries and some temperatures in the low teens—but frankly not that many. I am still running in shorts several times per week and haven't seen a reason to switch to tights yet. What a gift.
This, however, might be a problem. Winter—snow—AND—cold—is important. Important for the trees. Important for the pollen count next summer. Important for creating a great deal of snow melt for the spring. Winter strengthens our world—makes it more resilient to disease. Winter kills off bacteria. Winter enhances the circle of life and participates in evolution by killing off the weakest of the animals—leaving the strongest and smartest to survive and create another generation.
Winter is a good metaphor for life. It represents death and dying in our lives. Death is needed.
No matter what anyone says, no one enjoys the pain and discomfort of howling wind and bitter cold. We enjoy the fireplace when we get back to the house—but the cold seeps into our marrow and makes us cold at our core. Getting let go by the company you trusted with your future is like that. Failing miserably while chasing your dreams is like that. Hearing the doctor tell you that you have cancer is like that. Discovering your children are into drugs is like that. Divorce is like that. Losing a parent is like that.
So now what? Winter is coming—if it isn't already here for you. How do you respond to winter? How do you respond to not being in control. How do you respond to the depth of emptiness that comes when you realize that you can't make it better? You can't fix it?
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Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012
Imagine you in your home, winding down from a long day and the door bell rings. You open the door and there is a solitary unicorn standing there. You are understandably surprised. You are shocked when the unicorn starts speaking to you and in english says, "Get on! Let's go for a ride!"
What's your response? Of course you are going to get on the unicorn. You are either in a dream or it's a chance of a lifetime—so no matter what—you are going to go for a ride.
Is there anything magical in your life? Anything that has you in awe? Is there anywhere in your life where you experience unbridled joy?
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Posted Tuesday, October 04, 2011
It's 9 days ago. I'm lying face down on a tattoo parlor table. The pain is beyond what I imagined. It's not stopping. I tell myself it will be over soon. Soon is taking quite a while. Each branch of the tree has to be traced and filled in. The leaves need to be added--each leaf another needle. Eventually, I embrace the pain. I stop cringing. I lean into it. It becomes the metaphor for why I'm here--1000 miles from home, alone, getting a tattoo of a tree on my back.
I'm here because my friends loved me and believed in me and sent me to a world class leadership program. I'm alone because I must be, and I'm getting a tree on my back because the tree is the symbol of my true life.
Beauty and pain are inextricably linked. Authenticity--what my new tattoo represents--is not possible without pain.
So, many years ago I set clear intentions for my life: I want my insides to match my outsides. I want to be real. I want to live authentically. I knew at the time that this was not an easy task. I knew it would cost me things to live out those intentions. Mostly I knew that I would have to drastically change for those intentions to turn into reality.
Today--I turn 40.
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Posted Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Posted Thursday, August 11, 2011
I have a problem. I like to be right. I've always been this way—at least as long as I can remember.
In grade school, sometimes the only thing I had to hold onto was the fact that I was right about the answer. One not so emotionally intelligent teacher gave me some advice on how to deal with bullies that called me names; she told me to tell them to "prove it." For all the bullies and for the bullied out there—you know what happened when I said "prove it." The bullies just started chanting prove it, prove it, prove it.
I learned though—that I could know the most and have at least some confidence as I went through my life. I definitely enjoyed proving people wrong—which didn't win me very many friends as a young student.
So midway through high school, I decided to completely choose my religion. I was cocky, bold, and used to getting picked on. Not such a great combination. I soon took the messages of love that were given to me by my church and turned them into messages of exclusion. I was genuinely worried about the souls of my friends, my girlfriend, and co-workers. I quickly learned as much as I could about how to evangelize everyone who was far from God (at least from my point of view.) I wore t-shirts that proclaimed my devotion to Jesus and every conversation I had with someone that didn't believe like I did was an opportunity to tell them about the "good news."
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Posted Monday, August 01, 2011
So I met someone famous last week. Stacy Allison. She is the first american woman to summit Mt. Everest. I know. Impressive. You have maybe heard the stats—only one in 10 people that attempt Everest, make it to the summit and for every four people that make it to the summit, 1 person dies trying. Yikes.
Stacy is good friends with one of my friends and the three of us went for a long run together. After I gawked and got over my nervousness, I discovered pretty quickly that Stacy is just as human as I am (surprise) and the three of us had a very pleasant time together talking about the good, bad, and the ugly in our lives.
She gave me a copy of her book as well and I started reading it as soon as I got a chance later that day. I was fascinated with the story of a young girl trying to find her life and stepping into risks again and again.
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