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Don’t Give Up

Sometimes it takes courage. Courage, persistence and determination that I couldn’t have imagined that I would have to muster in order to keep moving forward.  Progression, with enthusiasm, can be exhausting. Don’t give up.

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” –Winston Churchill

Apple Ipad Commercial and Why We Write Poetry Quote

Professor Keating_Robin Williams character

I’m watching the NFL playoffs from the comfort of my living room, just like many other Pittsburgh Steelers players and fans. If you are too than you’ve probably seen the Apple Ipad Air commercial.

Cool. Inspirational. Creative.

We’ve come to expect cool from Apple. But this commercial is one I really like because it makes us think about how technology is weaving itself into the fabric of our lives. Right now it’s the tablet and the smart phone. Soon it will be a variety of wearable devices.

But that’s not all that’s cool. Robin Williams narrating the commercial with his classic quote from Dead Poets Society. Now that’s cool. It’s also compelling – daring you to live out loud.  Williams character in Dead Poets Society is Professor John Keating, one of my favorites. And, if you don’t recognize it from the commercial then perhaps you didn’t see Dead Poets Society, or need to see it again or share it with your children.

O me! O life!

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer: that you are here; that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?

 What inspires you? What will your verse be?

Be Vulnerable

I’ve given a lot of thought to vulnerability lately. The power of being vulnerable and the courage that it takes. Many of us believe the opposite. We protect ourselves with a shield of false bravado. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable means overcoming fear of failure or ridicule if we’re not accepted. Our relationships require it or they don’t succeed. We all make mistakes and have to apologize or we don’t move on. We perform better at work if we have permission to screw up as part of the process of learning.

The path to each other starts with our own vulnerability.” says Brené Brown in her talk, The power of vulnerability, from TEDxHouston. Watch it below…

Is there something that gives you courage? Or allows you to be vulnerable? Please share.

Productivity Process and Tools

This week at C7group we spent a bit of time thinking about how David Allen’s system and principles coordinate with our project management, customer relationship management and document sharing. We mapped our tools to our favorite system for managing incoming information and processing it. Continue Reading…

Celebrate Your Victories

 

Working, business, performance. It can be stressful. In a start-up or small business environment, it can be all consuming.  This is

especially true if you are passionate about your work. If you work with purpose, and you care deeply about the outcome and how it affects your customers and your team, then you probably think about it in the shower.

Continue Reading…

5 Life Lessons Taught By The Muppets

Photo of Kermit the Frog

Leave it to one of my favorite Lifehacking sites, Steepcase Lifehack, to post lessons on life from the Muppets. Great stuff by freelance writer Andrew Kardon.

[featured]I can’t imagine living in a world without The Muppets. Those cuddly, felt critters are like best friends you’ve known your entire life. They’re fun, they’re goofy, and they just fill you up with a warm feeling inside…don’t they?[/featured]

Thanks to Jason Segel and a host of other talented folks, the recentThe Muppets movie was a big success for Disney, and Jim Henson’s fluffy family is back in the limelight. Henson’s creations started out as a fun way to teach children some basic ABCs, as well as important life lessons. But as with The Muppet Show, the craziness was kicked up a few notches.

Just because you’re too old for Sesame Street (and hopefully you already know your ABCs), that doesn’t mean you’re not too old to learn something. The Muppets are more than entertainers — they’re pretty good teachers too.

Here’s a look at 5 life lessons you can learn from The Muppets. Continue Reading…

Letting Go

Let it go

I posted a status update on Facebook yesterday. I suppose it was part of a New Year’s renewal to state that I was,”Letting Go.” You might guess that this evoked some response. I’m grateful to loving friends and family that thought to reach me. I was encouraged by the messages I received.  Some wondered what it was I was letting go of…others were concerned. I considered the context, and, there really wasn’t one. A few friends said, “It’s about time,” or “Of what?” I had a quick education on the obscure post in need of clarification.

Facebook dialogue about letting go

I am letting go of stress, worry and the past. I am also letting go of the need to react or be affected by others, especially if

they are not focused on the present or the future. Did you ever get a dirty look from across the room? Did you feel compelled to say “What’s wrong?” or “What did I do?” Well, my choice is to no longer address an issue until there is one. When confronted with an issue or an objective then address it. When brushed by passive-aggressive (or even aggressive) dissatisfaction or anger, don’t call attention to it! Let it go! Maybe it’s about you, maybe it’s not. Don’t invite the confrontation – it’s not likely to be a healthy one.

Especially in today’s fast paced, mobile, social, inter-webbed world it’s
I am letting go of frustration with myself and my life, letting go of anger and bitterness in an effort to focus on what matters most. My commitment is to choose joy and have a wonderful productive year. I hope you do the same and I’d be grateful for your thoughts!also best to assume that someone’s post or comment isn’t about you and isn’t personal.  If it is, let them choose to say so. Otherwise, don’t sweat it.

Thank you to Lori Deschene, Author of Tiny Buddha, Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions and founder of the Tiny Buddha website.  Her “40 WAYS TO LET GO AND FEEL LESS PAIN,” post in particular encouraged me to make this my mantra for the new year.

Don’t Wait to Thank Your Mentors and Heroes

Steve Jobs Artwork by David Datuna, Mironova Gallery

Like many, Steve Jobs had an influence on my life.  He taught me a lesson recently.  It was in his passing that I learned not to wait to seek out my heroes.  Steve Jobs did not live that far from me but we didn’t know each other.  He was a distant mentor on a pedestal of brilliance and accomplishment that most of us feel is out of reach. Perhaps you have a hero or someone you feel this way about? Perhaps, like me, there are those that are gone now and you wish that you had expressed how you felt about them. Continue Reading…

Meditate, Pray and Visualize

Visualize and Meditate your goals

During this season, with Thanksgiving upon us, I’m especially grateful for the support of good friends. Life these past months has been a flurry of activity. Sometimes that activity has been connected to goals and appropriate vision. Often it has felt like I’ve been bounced or yanked from one thing to the next with the stress of what “I’m not getting to,” or what  “I’m not doing enough of,” in order to meet the expectations of others (and sometimes my own.) In the midst of a marketing strategy discussion with good friend, Lori Saitz, she could tell that I and our team were stressed. [Lori is a pro at helping business improve customer experience, market strategically and increase client loyalty.  She knows how to get things done efficiently with a sense of humor and fun] Shortly thereafter, I received the following from Lori:

Continue Reading…

Chris Cobetto demonstrates the driving line at Virginia International Raceway

Chris Cobetto is a buddy of mine from High School. We where roommates our senior year at The Kiski School.  Chris had die-cast models of race cars in his room back then…now he plays with some bigger toys.  Chris, now President of National Auto Sports Association (NASA) Mid-Atlantic, runs more than a dozen races, High Performance Driving Education (HPDE) and Autocross.

Although we’re not in touch near as much as I’d like, I have a tremendous amount of respect for his commitment.  Chris lives his passion.  Take a quick drive with him around the track at VIR.

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