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Life is Full of Beauty. Notice It.

How to Pull the Knife Out of Your Back

Have you ever said something stupid?  I have.  Maybe you spoke out of turn? Let something slip that you shouldn’t have?  I did.  I also know some pretty smart folks that have done the same.    What did you do?  Humbly apologized, I hope.  I also offered to do what I could to make it better, sans excuses.

It doesn’t always work, right?  We all make mistakes but sometimes you’re still at the mercy of the maturity on the other side of the table.  Granted, some open-mouth-insert-foot moments are worse than others.  Forgiveness can take time.

Here are 3.5 tips for how to act when you’re the one that got “dissed”…

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Folsom Lake Crossing Human Chain of Gratitude

It will come as no surprise that when Julie Bjorgum introduced her idea to demonstrate gratitude  – I jumped. We have a new bridge opening in Folsom, CA.  It's a rare event -and has become an opportunity to express gratitude and thanks.  970 feet of bridge joining communities together.

Show your “gratitude attitude” by joining the Human Chain of
Gratitude
stretching across the Folsom L
ake Crossing during the Grand Opening Festival on Saturday,
March 28 at 12:00.

DETAILS on Eventbrite or Facebook  

What would it be like if we all gave up and believed in
hopelessness, doom, despair?  Great
things are accomplished because despite the odds, there were people who tried,
people who believed in the possible, who weren’t afraid to fail if it furthered
the greater good.  We are humbled by our
present circumstances, but that does not make us losers.  Our society does not support the idea of
coming in 2nd, but I believe it is by our efforts that we are all
winners.  Folsom’s newest bridge next to
Folsom Dam is certainly an inspiring example of seemingly insurmountable odds
made possible by hard work,Gratitude folsom lake bridge grand opening folsom lake corssing human chain commitment and positive thinking.  We pay tribute to all who made it a reality.

 I am grateful that a smile is more contagious than a
disease.

What are you grateful for?

Author; Julie Bjorgum

We'll be making a cool video to be shared publicly.


Come show your gratitude!

 

Love. Enlightenment. Plenty.


OneGroup – C, originally uploaded by vaXzine.

I like this post…especially the uploaded handwriting to http://www.flikr.com. Nice thoughts.

Sign of a friendly neighbor?


a neighbor of mine has this sign posted on his lawn…

Thanksgiving email

I was impressed by this note from Alex Rathbone. She is the Executive Assistant to VP/GM, Storage Solutions Group at Adaptec and is also a Communications Consultant through her own firm, Coldun Consulting.  Her experience is diverse and interesting.  She’s obviously a high character person as you can tell:

As Thanksgiving nears, I’ve been thinking about some
of the things I have to be thankful for. 

I have a loving family, some near, some far away.

I have choices in my life.

I have a warm place to rest my head every night.

I’ve never been forced to miss a meal. 

 

I am more mindful of these simple blessings at this
time of year.

This Thanksgiving, why not take a moment apart from
this busy connected world, to keep it simple and let the people around you know
that you value them?

May you and your family be as blessed as I am.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Laughter Works

Laughter, fun and enjoyment.  Aren’t these things that we all seek?  I’ve often underestimated their value as I plod along throughRen_laughter_1 work  – like spending another Sunday at my glamorous desk enjoying the life of the entrepreneur.  I’ve learned a great deal , though, from my good friend Jim Pelley who practices what he preaches.  His business Lwlogo_smis Laughterworks Seminars and he’s been teaching the value of humor to Fortune 500 companies  for many years.

Jim speaks about  how humor can help manage change with workplace/life issues, make teams more effective, banish stress and unleash creativity.  It’s awesome to have a friend that deeply understands the relationship between humor, communication, and productivity.

Recently Jim and I both attended a breakfast themed “Radical Gratitude” where celebrating a life of abundance was encouraged.  What better representation of appreciation, self-affirmation and a life of abundance than the gift of laughter?  What better representation of true character than a life-long commitment to encouraging enjoyment?  AND, teaching how it can make many aspects of your life and work more effective! Hannah_marmins_laughing

Some of the most beautiful sounds I know are the laughter of my wife and daughter.  So  make sure someone hears your laugh today.  It may be the beautiful sound they’re looking for…

Sonny Rollins Saxophone Colossus

Rollins200x150Sonny Rollins turned 75 not long before his performance this week at the UC Davis Mondavi Center. As is typically the case, my wife Liz purchased tickets to see Sonny and his band some six months prior to the concert.  Funny how when the day rolls around, even after looking forward to it for months, we were distracted by parenting, chores, and the absence of energy for a cultural outing.  We got angry with each other in the car not long after leaving our home.  Our argument lasted and nearly ruined the evening.

Our lack of harmony met the odd confrontation of walking into the hallowed church of the arts where we were about to see one of the finest, most talented musicians to grace our good planet.  The inspiration unfolded as a mirror to my foolishness.  What focus and power this man represents after more than fifty years of honing and practicing his craft.  I share this description from John Ellis (also a wonderful saxophone player that Sonny Rollins influenced):

“The term “organic” is used a lot in music. I think Sonny bestRollins defines
what that means–he’s an organic improviser. Listening to him is like
watching the sun rise or the trees grow. It never sounds forced, and
each idea develops from the next one. On top of that he has so much
humor and spirit–you can feel his eyes twinkle–or maybe it’s behind
his eyes, a sparkle, as if he’s amused by each phrase he discovers. And
it certainly sounds like every phrase is a discovery. He also has the
funkiest feel for time, but it’s really flexible. And his articulation,
like a drum. And his sound is beautiful, incredibly warm and direct–it
reaches out and envelops you.”

Seeing Sonny play the saxophone would cause most fans to be
introspective, but you have to be in harmony with yourself and your environment to allow the influence to wash
over you. The experience “sharpened my saw” in emotional and spiritual ways.  It also to reminded me to focus on what is truly important.

Principled Rant

My thoughts of successfully blogging about character and principles as a path to effectiveness in living have led me through the blogoshpere.  I have traveled and read to attempt to answer the question, "How do I make this valuable to you, the reader?"

In my search I found the research report:  Behaviors of the Blogosphere: Understanding the Scale, Composition and Activities of Weblog Audiences(pdf) that includes the current top 25 blogs.  Many of these are feeds that I subscribe to for news, fun or geeky stuff such as Free Republic, Drudge Report, Fark.com, slashdot.org, and Gizmodo.  And then, also rounding out the top 25 are the sex and trashy blogs like Fleshbot (#3), Gawker (advertising a roast of Pamela Anderson) (#4),and  Defamer to name a few. 

I’m all for fun, enjoy breaking news and won’t criticize the
People/Us/Seventeen Magazine crowd. Perhaps there’s just room for an
active discussion concerning how to be more effective by living a high
character existence. 

I’ve learned, through trial and error – mostly error – that the forces by which we overcome being less effective than we’d like to be are guided by principles, ethics and roots of high individual character.   And, based on the horrible number of American corporate executives led though courthouse doors with their heads hanging low, has there ever been a better time to find our roots in the good earth of character?

There are fundamental Principles, such as Vision, Harmony, Order and Purpose that work in opposition to the common things that get in our way (like interruptions, unclear values, lack of organization and fatigue).  Are these not worthy of our attention?  Have you seen the results of acting outside of good character in your own life?  I sure have. 

A good day in San Jose

Amtrak to San Jose from Sacramento was going to be so late that I had to drive to make my first appointment on-time.  So much for hours of focused reading and writing.  I had thinking and catch-up phone calls in traffic instead.  It was worth it.   I had wonderful meeting with an old acquaintance and a new one (that I met through linkedin).  It was that first meeting
that made my day.  You know the feeling when you make the right connection with someone?  And you realize that there is HARMONY (one of my favorite character traits for effectiveness) with the potential to do great things together.

My meeting was with Michael Gaines, a Principal of John Epperheimer’s company, Workpath Group.  I know less about Workpath than I do about Michael and his enthusiasm (I had planned to read lots of stuff about them on that train!) – and that’s what really made me want to do some work with Workpath.  Michael is a sharp guy with a unique ability.  He whittled the capabilities of mine to fit best with areas where he could leverage my talent based on what he gleaned from my story and passion.   Effective, efficient, productive, and fun.