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Posts Tagged ‘Attitude’

…be water

March 16, 2015 Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, I was reminded of a few lines that the venerable Bruce Lee was quoted as saying.

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

As a habit, I tend to compare and contrast what I learn between personal and professional life. Often times, viewing something through the personal lens offers a stark contrast than a professional one. Rarely, do I come across something that can truly be ubiquitous.

This one was different. I realize that this is not exactly an epiphany – but this just hits it in all the right places. These few lines really resonated with me in that it speaks to the need to continuously adapt, engage and excel. Many people may read the words above but do not get the meaning due to them having preconceptions about their own behaviors and actions. The self-awareness becomes a limiting factor in the ability to adapt to changing conditions or things that change the mental model that folks have created for themselves as well as their situation.

Now, let’s pivot for a moment.

In a recently read book (that kicks some serious ass); the author discusses the hidden as a pretext of awareness, adaptability and the impact self-awareness has on executing and teamwork. Simply put, if you are not aware of what is around you and your team – how can you effectively deal with challenges?

“If you give a good idea to a mediocre team, they will screw it up. If you give a mediocre idea to a brilliant team, they will either fix it or throw it away and come up with something better.”

Tying together individual/team-oriented fluidity; coupled with self awareness and high performance is hard. It is damn hard. Few teams get there…few teams get to flow together.

For those that have read my earlier blogs, yes I went on a rant on quotables regarding using quotes. But hey – things change and I am adapting right?

…make wise choices,

-sk

…embrace dread

March 15, 2015 Leave a comment

I recently read an article that referenced a psychological study on the disvalue of future pain. Essentially, the study found evidence to support the hypothesis that people prefer expedited pain versus the thought of waiting. More importantly, in some cases, test subjects preferred to receive a stronger pain stimulus sooner vs wait for a weaker one later. However, there is a point in time where the effects are attenuated due to the passage of time. The example used is a painful Dentist appointment 8 months out may not be as dreadful as one a month out…etc.

This begs the question in general, how do we apply this notion to our daily decisions? Granted, as with any study, one can dismiss results, question methods and/or present an arguing case. That being said, the notion is valid, at least based on some of my experiences.

The takeaway that intrigued me was a reminder that ultimately anticipation carries a cost…but the cost decays. There is an apparent arc of dread. 

How do we use this to our advantage?

I can tell you that I certainly prefer to complete activities under artificially induced pressure. Sometimes, it is due to deliberate procrastination…to a certain point, of course. Other times it is with over-analysis and polishing the bb, as an old friend used to say.

Needless to say, that I need to time the events and deliverable so that I can ensure the right balance of engagement with purpose and motivation in order to produce quality. Personally, this approach is empowering and allows complete clarity to task and purpose.

Ultimately, my dread is sliding down the arc!

What do you dread?

…make wise choices

-sk

…everything ends

May 20, 2014 1 comment

As I have written here before, being a parent affords me the opportunity to see behaviors and reactions of my children at various stages of development. One of the most interesting, and yet saddest behaviors I see is the dichotomy of a new experience and its, sometimes too rapid demise.

Recently, we took a trip to a fair – kids love fairs…love them. For me it is always a great mix of people watching, eating and watching poorly constructed rides shake and rattle with every new group of brave riders. In case you were wondering, hell no – would never ride one of those rides.

So the entire day before we go, the extensive car ride over and while standing in line for the tickets – I hear the same thing over and over. This merry go round has apparently been beckoning my kids since they visited it last year. I cannot understand what, specifically attracts them but they named the horses and remembered them! For the record, I do not count merry go rounds in the above references to potential death-trap rides. Worse case, we can jump, tuck and roll…all good.

We get on the ride and I watch as they take take care to find their horses and jump on and get ready. Camera in hand, I started snapping away at the joy on their faces as we began the even tempered revolutions. Three turns is all it took…all it took for them to look for me, at me and through me to the exit rotate past them. I had witnessed the actual moment that great joy turned into melancholy…it was swift. The moment was over.

I am not preaching nihilism (at least not in this case) – but reflecting on the fact that the awesomeness of the events leading up to the ride was the ride. The punchline for this story? Simply put, enjoy the journey. Whether we are visiting far off lands, building teams, delivering products/services to customers, spending time with family and loved ones…savor the journey.

Once you finish, you are done…until you start again!IMG_5356

…make wise choices

-sk

 

…woohoo

December 30, 2013 Leave a comment

As 2013 comes to a close, I have come to think back to the many things that I have learned in the past 12 months. Learning is growing – and the moment one has nothing left to learn, they have failed. Yes, it is my opinion and sure I could be wrong. If I was going to sum things up and extrapolate one massive lesson what would it be, that would have created such a strong impact?

I thought about this for a few minutes and it popped into my brain…well, after the dancing Steamboat Willie. So much of this blog, and my personal ethos is about delivering on commitments, service and pushing oneself past the proverbial comfort zone. The capstone of this would have to be the notion of taking a step back, reflecting on accomplishments and recognizing when something has been completed. From that, taking away what was learned as a result.

For me, that clarity is accomplished by celebrating what you have done and not who you are  – yes that’s deep (well for me it is). It is so easy to look at factors that you cannot easily control  and either over/under emphasize those elements that you feel have either contributed your success or failure. Almost everything is malleable, however, some things are vastly simpler to manipulate. One thing, in particular, that most have direct control over is the setting and completing of personal and/or professional goals.

Whether large or small – those goals are yours to own and yours to execute! Embrace the action of achievement and cast aside those that would dilute your accomplishments by placing you in a category.

…make wise choices,
(Happy New Year)

-sk

BTC

 

 

…wear a hat

November 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Today is a day of thanks to our Nation’s Veterans, past and present. It so happens that I’m travelling today and passing through Charlotte, North Carolina. This airport is usually a hotbed of activity for military personnel as they transition to and from duty stations and/or rotate overseas. I’m sure to the workers here, it is normal for so many Army and Marine personnel in uniform to be walking about.  After I bought a young Marine and beer at the airport bar I walked to my gate to crank out…this blog. On my way, I saw a more than a few uniformed military personnel walking by and you know how many people I saw shake a hand, say thanks or nod?

Not a single person.

All were too busy with their phones, conversations and general disengagement – walking from point A to point B. I sat by a few older guys wearing Vietnam Veteran and Korean Veteran hats. They intimated to me they felt compelled to wear a hat on certain occasions. To no surprise, they wanted to celebrate their service – proudly and outwardly. Some wear their badges and patches on the inside and choose only to share with those most intimate to them – for various reasons.

I thanked them and walked away…

…make wise choices,
-sk

…the clipboard

November 5, 2013 Leave a comment

Ever see someone wandering the hallways, standing around with their hands in their pockets, or fiddling with their phone? I have…there are plenty of them around, in many cases, too many.

Now compare them with someone walking around carrying a notebook, tablet or clipboard. Now there is someone that is going somewhere and doing something!

For all we know the person with their hands in their pocket just won the Nobel Prize…and the person “going places” just has to go pee….reality is that we don’t and won’t.

What we do know is perception is often reality – so carry a friggin notebook….

…make wise choices,
-sk

…the worm

May 15, 2013 2 comments

I was sitting in my backyard sipping some rum and enjoying a nice cigar the other day. Enjoying the signs of spring, I spied a bird swoop in and peck at a worm on the ground. It had rained the night before so food was plenty and the birds were having a great time feasting. As I watched the bird take the worm and start to eat…another bird swooped in on top of the first one.

It basically thumped the bird and took its worm.

The message of the day? The early bird may get the worm, but it takes a whole lot more to keep it.

Don’t get hung up on acquisition only…retention is equally as important.

…make wise choices,

-sk

…sticky sunshine

March 9, 2013 Leave a comment
Been a bit…got lazy..
The other day I watched Louie (love me some Louis CK) and it’s the episode that depicts him struggling through a stand-up routine in an Atlantic City lounge. So he’s not doing so well – folks not engaged, low energy and a generally depressing tempo of jokes. Louie goes into a rant on how much casinos stink and that folks are idiots for giving their money to Donald Trump (his venue was the a Trump hotel). Naturally this does not sit well with management and after an emotional back and forth, he quits. He puts his personal ethos for comedy (no holds barred..) before receiving a clearly needed paycheck.
Later that night, while moping around feeling sorry for himself, he stumbles into a much larger venue with Joan Rivers performing. This lady is, of course ancient and is walking the stage and actually making folks laugh. He chats with her and fast forwarding to the end – she has a very motivating perspective.
She reminds him that certain folks have a calling to do something great. In her example – this is to be a comedian (of course). Sometimes things suck, sometimes they don’t – but you never ever quit. Sure she makes some crude references to Betty White’s body parts and discusses some sexual acts that I’ll not repeat – but the message is clear. Beautifully and passionately conveyed from an old comic to a younger comic. Well done!
I do not know why – but for some random reason, this episode charged me up and put some pep in my step!
The message here, is that motivation comes from the strangest of places. You may not always see it coming but when it hits you, it sticks.
…make wise choices,
-sk

…turning left

January 14, 2013 Leave a comment

So, I was arguing with myself the other day in the park…it is a lovely sight if you ever happen to come upon this spectacle. It all started so innocently with some introspection on people and how they perceive themselves over having to do the right thing.

Taking a look back at history, we have ample examples of tremendous evil being accomplished under the illusion that it was the right thing..that fit someone’s idealogy. This could be true in business and in the personal life of a person. In my mind this always boils down to a person’s character.

I’m a firm believer (and I have written about this previously), that most people are inherently selfish. Furthermore, given the opportunity many will do what is best for them, despite being detrimental to others. We can argue that this is not universally applicable as we have examples of individuals doing selfless things, often resulting in harm to themselves. As with every type of Gaussian function, I am referring to the majority of individuals.

So what’s the hook here? Figure out a balance (vs. integration) – what is right and beneficial. Every situation is, of course different and sometimes it is better to turn the other direction – even for a short time.

…make wise choices,

-sk

…grand resolutions

January 1, 2013 Leave a comment

As I sit here, watching the final remnants of the Twilight Zone New Year’s Marathon, I reminisce about the previous year and the things that have come to pass. Every year seems to bring both wanted and unwanted adventures. Positive and negative experiences, some rich and fulfilling and others wasting time that I will never recoup.

One thing is pretty consistent, my personal drive does not change, diminish or falter (save for purposeful course corrections). It is not triggered by calendar events. Some of the most annoying things that I have read via various social media outlets, hell, just about everywhere…is the notion of starting over or beginning something wonderful in the new year.

Now, I can understand the advertising aspect and timing to merchandise products/services…etc – I get that. What gets my proverbial goat, is the fact that so many folks actually use Jan 1 as a catalyst to start something different, better…etc. Such ferocity and drive, much like a grand flame – burning with a bright light – very admirable concept. How many measure and push themselves after the temporal novelty has given in to the mundane drudgery of everyday life? I think you know the answer to this question.

I am not perfect, not even close. I have no desire to be, quite honestly. However, when something needs to be improved, augmented and/or ceased – it is done when it needs to be done, not when it is a certain time of the year.

Maybe in 2013, I’ll change my mind and do something different – or maybe I won’t.

…make wise choices.

-sk

 btw. Odd advertising, in every commercial break during the 24 hour episode marathon…Cialis, Sonic & Furniture stores….I don’t like the target demographic that  I have been placed into…not one bit!