Apple Ipad Commercial and Why We Write Poetry Quote

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?

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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.

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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 even more difficult to not let public opinion and judgement take the place of our true selves. 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.

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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.

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Keith Ferrazzi launch of “Who’s Got Your Back” at Arianna Huffington’s home

We’re proud to be associated with such a powerful message.  Who’s got your back is not just some new flavor of the month self-help book.  Our connectedness to others that are not just telling us what we want to hear, but instead telling us what we need to hear has been lacking.  This is the beginning of an amazing change for those willing to embrace what it means to have true lifelines and to be a lifeline to others.

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Disappearing Act

My son Cole just had his first birthday. It is also the one year Anniversary of my foray into being a corporate-lackey-non-involved-hermit. My network withering and community involvement at zero, I begin reconnecting with clear perspective and focus. Liz_hannah_and_cole_0508_small

A year of learning the wireless industry from within the trenches of telesales at Verizon Wireless proved wise. As a research opportunity for me, not having worked at a firm of over 100 people for 15 years, it’s been an enlightening experience. I can debrief elsewhere as it applies to my appetite for metrics, measurement, procedure etc. For now, from the perspective on humanity, it’s
incredible what people endure to provide a living and good benefits for their families. AND, it’s even more incredible how much time they spend away from their families in order to do so. Wireless telecom does have its appeal though, and a future that’s fun to predict.

I’ve made some good friends at Verizon, but based on my schedule and new family priorities, I’ve neglected many. And, I look forward to the coming summer of returning to connecting and communicating in the way I’ve always enjoyed. It’s a part of me that I miss. And I miss so many people. I miss stunt-kite flying too so don’t get

My daughter, Hannah, has her 4th birthday party tomorrow. Liz and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. My son will make you laugh harder than a silly string war at a clown convention. No complaints.

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Self Discipline

Jack_pidgeon_kiskiLong time good friend Joe Garcia sent me quite a character reminder today.  He forwarded a copy of headmaster Jack Pidgeon’s commencement address to our class at The Kiski031030kiskith_2
School.  I read it right away – I hadn’t heard it for more than twenty years.  The message resonated as vividly as the authoritative New England intonation and cadence I could hear delivering it.

Wonderfully written, it’s chock full of Mr. Pidgeon’s own warm memories that brought me momentarily back to boyhood.   In the speech he says, "The longer I live the more I believe that the essential factor which places some men above others is their superior capacity for self-discipline." Jack also reminds us to, "never, never, never, never, never quit." He goes on to remind us of how we are all capable:

"You don’t have to have been born with talent or brains or special abilities or a capacity for leadership.  You don’t even have to have been born tough.  The happiest fact of life is that the one ingredient we need the most is ours for the taking.  All you have to do to acquire it is this: beginning today, stop doing something you shouldn’t do and start doing each day something you know you should do."

Thanks Joe.  It was especially generous to send this out.  Reading "On Self-Discipline" was a heartwarming connection to the roots of my commitment to a life of character and principles. 

You can download "On Self-Discipline" by Jack Pidgeon here.

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