Friday, September 29, 2006

Love and Profit

"You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love." Henry Drummond

This is so true in my experience. When my words, actions and thoughts stem from love, I am on top of the world. Anything and everything is better when infused with love. A meal created and served with love tastes better. A team that is bound by love performs better. A work that is created in love touches hearts at the deepest level.

Businesses and individuals that have the courage to lead from the heart have the greatest opportunity to create lasting value for everyone involved - the giver and the receiver.

Nothing knits hearts together and bonds people together in common purpose like love. I look forward to observing more companies come to this realization and get past the fear that things will spiral out of control if love becomes their basic operating principle. Love and profit are not mutually exclusive.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Is It Necessary to be Realistic?

Think about this. If everyone was realistic, nothing outstanding would ever be accomplished. Nothing is real until somebody makes it so.

At one point, it wasn't considered realistic to sail around the world. It wasn't considered realistic to fly. Many of the things that are now part of our everyday life were once science fiction.

Everyone who has ever done anything significant has had to deal with people who thought they were crazy, or at the very least, unrealistic.

So, what's wrong with being unrealistic? It's the people who aren't afraid to dream of what could be that bring to pass the innovations that make our lives easier and more enjoyable. There's a lot to be said for people who take things that are already in existence and make them better, but somebody had to be the visionary that made the impossible or the improbable real.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What If Average Is Not As Bad As We Think?

Seth Godin says, "In every category, in every profession, half the people are below average.

I never really thought about this. I have always had a somewhat negative association with the word "average". But when you consider it, no matter how good a group of people is in any given metric, half of them will have to fall below average by virtue of being part of a group that is being measured.

Perhaps everyone being measured in any given group is excellent, as in remarkably good. In that case, the standard for average is higher. This is not profound truth. It's just something I don't think is considered often.

It has definitely created a paradigm shift for me. I will no longer look at "average" as necessarily being a negative standard, though I don't know if I'll ever lose my desire to be in the top half whenever possible. Maybe I could learn to cut myself some slack. It's possible.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Security or Steve Irwin Daring?

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."- Helen Keller

Steve Irwin is an admirable human being in my book because he lived his dreams. He didn't limit his life by playing it safe, and as a result, he enriched the world with his wonderful gift.

I feel for his family's loss, and I believe we all feel we have lost a friend. The thing I am taking from this is that we don't know how much time we are going to have on this earth. We may do everything in our power to stay safe, but we can't hide from death. It will find us wherever we are. I suggest we stop hiding from life. Let's get out there and take whatever risks are necessary to make our lives the grandest version of the greatest vision of all life can be for us. Let us not die having never lived.

"The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all."
My sense of securitywas recently challenged by an event that occurred in the shop my sister and I operate in Old Town Spring. But I strongly feel that terrorists and perpetrators only have power when we give it up to them.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I am a firm believer in inspiration. Still, in order to set something on fire, it has to be flammable.

The expressive work of inspiration is the part of the inspirer. The receptive work of inspiration is the part of the inspiree.

The vast majority of people who listened to Christ Himself failed to be inspired by Him. He changed the world, anyway.

I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit. - Dawna Markova

Monday, September 04, 2006

Challenged to Grow

Life has its challenges, but challenges are designed to help us grow, stretch, expand and progress.

There may be frustrating moments, when multiple challenges rush in as if to fill a vacuum you weren't even aware of, but frustration is only a feeling, not a fact. It passes, and life and work go on.

I have made the decision not to lower my expectations to match the level of certain people's behaviors. I intend to maintain high standards and expect my staff to reach for them. Some may decide not to, but people generally live up (or down) to our expectations of them.

There may be a few who don't want to put forth that effort. They want to fill a time slot, draw a paycheck and do the minimum required to keep their jobs. They are welcome to do so somewhere else.

Fortunately, I have several who are self-motivated and who care deeply about our success. And that's what I intend to build on.

It has been my experience that when you are passionate about what you are doing, you tend to set whatever is flammable on fire and annoy the rest. That's a good thing, because what will remain will be those who are ready and willing to do the work necessary to create prosperity and achieve greatness.

Nothing less will satisfy me.


In order to live a full, joyful life, there needs to be balance. Work can't satisfy all by itself, just as we cannot expect our every need to be met by one personal relationship.

It is important to make a valuable contribution in our work, and also in our family life, personal life, social life and community life. The best lives are those that enjoy growth and reciprocation in each of these areas and who personally develop spiritually, emotionally, socially, physically, and intellectually.

Change Your Mind, Change Your Experience

When I realized on Tuesday that we were facing a seemingly impossible situation, I started getting stressed because our earlier brainstorming had not discovered any possible solutions. But in a little while, my new patterns of thinking kicked in and I remembered that stress and frustration do not present solutions. Besides, people pick up on their leader's vibrations and take their cues as to how to respond to the situation by how their leader responds.

So, I took a few deep breaths and told myself everything was going to work out well and that solutions would present themselves and that is exactly what happened.

It's how we program our minds that determines whether we will turn a difficult situation into a successful one or whether the situation will turn us into a basket case. We all have default programming that was completed before we knew any better. But we can choose to install new programs that will serve us better and override the negative ones. And at any point, we get to choose which program to run.

Being at Peace

Today, I took 15 minutes to sit outside and just be. I actually used a timer because I am working on making this a daily discipline.

I just sat there on my front porch and experienced God's gifts in the form of the gentle breeze and the pleasing sights and sounds of the leaves rustling in the wind. I watched the butterflies and dragonflies going about their business and just let my thoughts and imagination go.

Some people might deem this time unproductive. That is a mistake. It was definitely productive time. What it produced was a spirit of peace and tranquility, as well as emotional, mental and spiritual energy that can be utilized to further my goals.

If you think you are too busy to enjoy 15 minutes of quiet time, you are definitely too busy not to. It only takes a shift in perception and priorities. I know, easier said than done, but absolutely worth the effort.