Why is that person in the mirror so hard on us?

I was thinking… and truthfully, not much happened! But thankfully, I subscribe to Seth Godin’s daily musings (you should too). Here’s what Seth shared today:

On beating yourself up.

Almost everyone does it. I’m not sure why.

After the fact (or even during it) all the blame, second-guessing and paralysis. We say things to ourselves that we’d never permit anyone else to say. Why?

  1. It leaves us bruised and battered, unlikely to do our best work while you’re recovering.
  2. It hurts our knuckles.
  3. It distracts us from the work at hand.

Perhaps there’s a more humane and productive way to instill positive forward motion. I’m sure there is.

At the very least, this is a dumb hobby.

Yep, I’m guilty. Although I’m happy to say, not nearly as guilty as I was years ago. What about that, why we do we beat ourselves up? Sure we all need to improve in certain areas of our lives, no one’s perfect, but still – why all the blame, second-guessing, and paralysis. Or as a friend once said “we get stuck in the inertia of our own mindless spinning, and we accomplish nothing”. 

I’m with Seth here – it’s a dumb hobby, I’m done with it!

Have a great day friends!



Looking for the next best thing?

“I appreciate the best, but I’m settling for less, I’m looking for the next best thing.” – Warren Zevon

Ordered (aka ‘kindlized’) a book last night based solely on the title, or you might say – I judged by the cover, that this book might be worth a read.  The Complacent Class: The Self-defeating Quest for the American Dream, by Tyler Cowen, Economics Professor at George Mason University.

I was thinking, after I heard the title of the book mentioned, “have I become complacent?”  And if so, how did I get there? I know I haven’t always been complacent, satisfied with whatever and/or wherever, content not to push harder, dig deeper or challenge myself and others. I remember times in my life when I viewed the ‘status quo’ like Roger Bannister viewed the 4-minute mile – as something that had to be broken!

Truth is – there are areas of my life where I’m very content, even willing to accept 2nd (or 9th) place.  Is that bad? I mean, I don’t have to prove my point in every situation anymore, I don’t have to win every argument or beat every traffic light. Not everything is a competition. And when it comes to dealing with, shall we say ‘irregular’ people, I’ve learned to heed the advice I’ve given to countless others over the years “never rassle with pigs, you both get dirty and the pigs like it.”

Maybe the ‘next best thing’ is OK, right? Just to be content, with whatever, after all, it’s biblical, right? I mean, the Apostle Paul said “For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, to be content therewith.”

Well, no, just the fact that Paul feels he needs to mention it tells me that ‘contentment’ is something that we humans don’t excel at. It’s a coping mechanism, but certainly not a license to stop trying.

There are areas in my life and work that I’m not satisfied with, complacency threatens to keep me right where I am. By nature I have a bias toward action, I have all manner of scars to prove it too! Complacency diminishes and stifles my true self. Yes, complacency might also spare me some pain and new scars, but I’m not convinced that the trade is fair.

So, I was thinking…am I the only one considering the dangers and benefits of complacency.  What do you think? Complacency good? Complacency bad? 50/50?

I know this, the more I look at the areas of my life where complacency has set in… the more I don’t like it.

I have an 11 hour plane ride in about a week that should be sufficient to devour the 200 or so pages of the book, I think I know what direction the author is going to go, but I’ll report back, just in case.


I Was Thinking…

…and then it occurred to me that –

I need to record some of those wild and crazy thoughts that pop into my head, that wake me(or keep me) up at night, that create a pause in the chaos of daily living, that challenge me, and amuse me and cause me to think a little deeper.

And so, I was thinking…maybe a blog would help! I think it would certainly help me to chase down, rope and brand, some of the stray thoughts and ideas I have. So, as I near the beginning of my 57th year, now is the time!

The plan for this new venture has been taking shape for a couple of years now, actually maybe more like 5 years or so. It coincides with a career decision, one that would challenge me to move beyond consulting/capital fundraising to try to gain a toe-hold in the ‘development’ side of nonprofit work. For the most part, it’s worked out, no complaints, I have a great position with an incredibly diverse, challenging, and fun organization.

As I was thinking, I knew for this outlet to gain any ground I certainly wouldn’t want to bore readers with a constant stream showcasing the minutiae of my daily life. No, what I want is to create conversation, challenge ideas, learn, and then re-learn, to grow personally, to provide a space for others to grow. In short I want this blog to exercise the best outcomes of the old principle that “Iron sharpens Iron”.

Look for excerpts from some of today’s great thinkers (Tom Peters, Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, etc.) and from some of yesterday’s (Peter Drucker, William Booth, John Steinbeck, etc.). My idea is to take bits and bytes of wisdom and/or ideas or thoughts, quotes, observations (you’ll get the idea)from the for-profit business world, the nonprofit world, the marketing world, the entertainment world, or wherever and frame them for further discussion, in which I hope to engage readers of this blog.

At the end of the day, none of us are as smart as all of us, and we all have a lot to learn, AND a lot to share. I hope you’ll join me.