Saturday, April 27, 2013

On the Road Again

               On the Road Again

Sorry there were no ARTicles the past two weeks: I just couldn’t find the inspiration.  Or maybe I was distracted with finally moving everything from New York City back to Las Vegas.  But alas, while walking these big city streets for the last time, I found an inspiration.

Isn’t it always the case that we see things most clearly when doing them for the last time?  It seems we take the things we know for granted and then tend to miss the beauty and importance of them. Walking (as opposed to driving) puts us much closer to our surroundings, and stimulates so many more senses beyond just seeing, and these flooded me with renewed awareness, awe, and nostalgia as the reality (and finality) of another change set in.

What a treasure this New York adventure has been: because I was here on a long-term assignment, these past 2 years have been filled with exploration and wonder.  It seemed more like a vacation, so I was always restless to see and do more.  And it was this trying-out-something-new attitude that gave me a much better feel for (and perspective of) the ordinary things that surrounded me.  Friends, home, family, hobbies, goals, favorite things – they all are more meaningful to me now.

And this adventure has rekindled my passion for life’s changes.  There’s a lesson here: don’t be afraid to re-pot yourself every now and then to let your roots grow and expand. And that the passage of time can be put too much better use than just getting older. 

So, if you get the chance, I highly recommend getting back on the road again!

My message this week is about being and showing your enthusiasm when life makes you feel that way:

“Enthusiasm is the electricity of life. How do you get it? You act enthusiastic until you make it a habit.” Gordon Parks

I’ve noticed that most people don’t show excitement or enthusiasm at work because they think that’s unprofessional.  But why shouldn’t you show enthusiasm when something excites you? Learning something new or doing something really well certainly is cause for excitement. But when’s the last time you felt like pumping your fist in the air or letting out an enthusiastic exclamation and didn’t because you thought it might be inappropriate? Here’s some advice: when you feel like that, show it; it will be infectious because enthusiasm is the electricity of life – when you act enthusiastically so will those who are around you.  Make it a habit today to act out your enthusiasm and passions, and watch how it affects your colleagues.
Stay well!  

Friday, April 5, 2013

Thick as a Brick

            Thick as a Brick

In the news this week: cell phones are 40 years old.  In this relatively short period of time they certainly have changed the way we do just about everything.  Go figure.

My 92 year old mother uses one, and my 10 month old granddaughter loves playing with toy and real ones. People in rural areas without running water use cellphones.  There are 7 billion people on the planet, and more than 6 billion cellphones.   Brazil and Russia have twice as many cellphones as they have people.  Go figure

Cellphones became mobile phones – now we can’t go anywhere without one.  You can use them to set your DVD, turn on the lights, unlock the doors, watch video of your home while you’re away,  start your car, check the lights, run your life.  That’s probably why they now call them smartphones. Go figure.

Talking, texting, tweeting, IMing, shopping, browsing, emailing, playing, watching, taking pictures, makeing or watching videos, reading, depositing, and doing all the things that all those apps do: so many uses, so little time. And so little time actually spent without the damn phone.  Go figure.

It’s almost hard to remember what life was like BS (before smartphones).  And it’s hard to imagine what life would be like now without smartphones. Imagine driving or walking or navigating or shopping or sitting or seeing something cool or wanting to let someone know about something or just passing time - without one. Go figure.

But there really is life without a phone.  Dreaming, smelling, doing something really interactive with others; enjoying and being with those you love in real time.  The concept of doing things without a phone seems almost as foreign now as the concept of ubiquitous smartphones did way back when.  Go figure!

My message this week is that there’s nothing better than really being with those you love:

“There's no substitute for innovation, but innovation is no substitute for being in touch, either.”  Steve Balmer

Did you ever hear the expression: “going off half-cocked”?  This originally referred to the safety mechanism on old flintlock-type guns that sometimes failed, causing an unintended firing. People sometimes have a similar problem, saying or doing things before they’ve been fully planned or thought through.  With these, the results are much the same as with the gun: missing the mark or, worse, causing harm.  This could also apply when trying something new and different: if not planned well and thoroughly thought through, the results may not be what are intended, or they might offend or hurt others, or they may have totally unintended consequences like affecting relationships or team efforts. When changing things, make sure you know everything needed in order to do what’s right, check with all who are involved (family, friends, colleagues or customers) to know what’s actually needed, and then check to make sure you’re ready to get it right.  Plan well  to get the results you want, and try not to go off half-cocked this week!

Stay well!