An art store in my town posted a black chalkboard on the side of their building. Scrawled across the chalkboard is one simple question: What do you want to do before you die? Then it leaves a blank space for people to fill in their answers.
Some responses are silly.
“Before I die I want to breed squirrels.”
Some are so sincere they make you want to cry.
“Before I die I want to love someone with all my heart.”
I have a poster on my office wall from a company I admire. Lululemon Athletica is based in Vancouver, Canada, and creates athletic wear for women. But they don’t just sell just clothing, they sell an idea. And that idea is that we are all powerful, that we have the strength, the spark within us, to be who we want to be. There are a lot of truisms packed into this poster, but the one that stands out to me today says this:
Successful people replace the words “wish”, “should” & “try” with “I WILL”.
Making an emotional connection just might be the key to success in business … and in life. Find out how important emotion is to telling your business story in this quick video from Stacie Zinn Roberts and What’s Your Avocado?
I admit that I am a compulsive note taker. I’m sure it springs from my 20+ years as a journalist. When you get paid to ask people questions, it’s certain that they expect you to write down what they say. So, I do.
The note taking isn’t reserved, however, for the forum of interviewer-interviewee. Nah. It’s way past that.
In organizational meetings, I take copious notes. Even when not asked. So, invariably, I am the one who sends out the minutes. I’ve got them anyway. Why not?
When the phone rings, I automatically open up my notebook to a crisp … Read the rest…
At a banquet honoring women who serve the community, one of the nominees for Woman of the Year was Corky Hundahl. After suffering tragedy in her own family, Hundahl sought to help other families by starting a substance recovery program.
In her speech, Hundahl asked the crowd to consider: “What do we want to put into the world today?”
Not, what do we want to take from the world today?
Not, what do we think we deserve from the world today?
She asked, “What do we want to put into the world today?”
First impressions are powerful. Research scientists find that our brains decide if we like someone within less than 30 seconds of meeting them. And the first impression lasts. These same scientists note that a region of the brain that lights up on digital scans when encountering a person again are the same regions where the original first impression is stored. This means that no matter how many times we meet someone, we always compare that encounter to our initial first impression. It’s important to start strong.
The concept of the first impression translates to the process of writing. The first … Read the rest…
My friend Mary is a painter. Her art is vibrant and colorful. Her work tackles themes of spirituality and the human condition, with abstract shapes and layers upon layers of images that tell a story. Her paintings make you feel something when you look at them. She’s an Artist, yes, with a capital A.
Over lunch one day last week, our conversation steered into the realm of the very nature of creativity. I asked her what it feels like when she paints.
“Is it a transcendent experience?”
I asked this shyly, with a bit of an apology, knowing that … Read the rest…
It started with a cough. Not a clearing of the throat gentle kind of cough. No, this was a deep down from the depths of the lungs kind of rumble that caused me to pause and think “uh-oh” kind of cough. It appeared on a Friday night as if by magic at 30,000 feet on the airplane back to Seattle after five productively hectic days at a conference in San Diego. I coughed again. The lady in the middle seat beside me squirmed. Oh no.
By the time I landed, body aches had set in. Something wicked was coming this … Read the rest…
As my life gets busier and more hectic, I keep coming back to the thought that I need to choose my priorities carefully. In my last incarnation, in a version of me I’ve outgrown and left behind for good, my priorities were completely out of whack. I thought that my work was my life. That my job defined me. That I was the byline under the title of any article I wrote. That working six and seven days a week was a measure of my worth, my contribution, my value.
In the last five days I’ve had four feature stories due—three of them on the same day—two editing projects, plus I had to turn in a PowerPoint for a speech I’m giving later this week. For the first time in my life, I’ve felt like I might actually run out of words .
All creative people, I think, feel like this at one time or another. You go back to the well too many times, you’ll find it dry.
Hair stylists stare at another mop of hair and wonder where to start. School teachers sit in a classroom filled with … Read the rest…