Recycled Air

November is National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo). This post is part of my post-a-day challenge. I have picked a theme for the challenge: song titles. These songs have been featured on live albums from KEXP (an awesome alternative radio station in Seattle), so at a minimum you will hear some great music.

If you have read much of my blog, you know that everything I write is inspired by my experiences – a book I’ve read, a conference that I attended, a talk I am giving, etc.

But recently it feels more like recycled air. I’m ok with this as long as the original experience was a good one. There are probably bigger wastes of your time than reading my thoughts on a wonderful book (for example).

That said, I am aiming for more original content and less recycled air. Stay tuned.

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Kissing The Lipless

November is National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo). This post is part of my post-a-day challenge. I have picked a theme for the challenge: song titles. These songs have been featured on live albums from KEXP (an awesome alternative radio station in Seattle), so at a minimum you will hear some great music.

The creation of art involves taking a risk. There is a real risk that what you make will be ridiculed by your peers, your friends and even your family. To truly appreciate art, you have to understand that the artist puts a portion of her soul into her craft. You should appreciate the risk that was undertaken, it’s not all about the creation that you can see with your eyes. There is real value in the journey because it is making the artist stronger. We learn much more from failures than we do from successes.

Showing art to those that don’t appreciate your craft is like kissing the lipless. It might have to be done, but the kiss is much better if the recipient has the appropriate anatomy to receive the kiss. In the case of art, that anatomy is the understanding of the pain and pleasure that goes into making real art.

Everyone can be an artist if you approach your work in an artistic manner. Help the artist around you out – appreciate their journey and be mindful of your own.

Brighter Than Sunshine

November is National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo). This post is part of my post-a-day challenge. I have picked a theme for the challenge: song titles. These songs have been featured on live albums from KEXP (an awesome alternative radio station in Seattle), so at a minimum you will hear some great music.

I met someone the other day that had a great smile. It was infectious. It was brighter than sunshine.

How you project yourself outwardly is more important than you think. I’m not one to advocate acting excited when you’re not. I believe in being true to emotions. But in the absence of a strong emotion, it’s difficult to go wrong with a solid smile.

You’ll spend well over 100,000 hours at work over the course of your life. Why not spend much of that time with a positive outlook and creating smiles on the faces of those around you?

See who you can make smile tomorrow.

Elephant Gun

November is National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo). This post is part of my post-a-day challenge. I have picked a theme for the challenge: song titles. These songs have been featured on live albums from KEXP (an awesome alternative radio station in Seattle), so at a minimum you will hear some great music.

Powerful and dangerous, the elephant gun was originally created for the hunting of large game. The reason for it’s existence is clear in its name. It was designed for killing elephants. The gun looks intimating. There is no doubting it’s power.

But in relationships, intimidation rarely leads to success. It’s the opposite. The elephant gun of a relationship is listening – not speaking. It’s also important to consider the how and where you listen. If you are trying to persuade your child, your coworker, your spouse, etc. are you entering into his world? If not, you should. Go and listen. Ask why – a lot. (Maybe 5 times!)

Listening is a powerful weapon in your relationship arsenal. It allows you to empathize and understand root causes. This will give you the ammo you need to make subtle changes to how you approach the people in your life.

Listen.

Lost In My Mind

November is National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo). This post is part of my post-a-day challenge. I have picked a theme for the challenge: song titles. These songs have been featured on live albums from KEXP (an awesome alternative radio station in Seattle), so at a minimum you will hear some great music.

Do you ever get lost in your own mind? You have an idea or there is a task you want to accomplish. You think and you think and you think, but nothing seems to happen.

I’ve stumbled onto some good solutions for the problem of being lost in your own mind

1. Break big projects/tasks into smaller steps. Imagine you are climbing a ladder. You know that you want to get to the top (that is your objective), but you can’t get to the top until you put your hand on the next rung. For your project, what is the next rung? What is the next thing you need to physically do? Even if it is something as small as “capture notes from the XYZ conference” go and do that.

2. Write everything down. If you think I need to get milk at the store. Don’t just think it, make a note of it. Better yet add it to a list that you keep your grocery items on. I trust my mind to remember very little (those close to me know that this is a wise move on my part!). I tend to write every thought to “do” something down.

3. Work on projects / problems with others. Talking through a potential idea, solution, problem, etc with a friend or co-worker is important to keep from getting lost in your mind. Better yet, if you can show them something physical or what you have written down, this will help them experience your idea, solution or problem.

Try some of these ideas to keep from getting lost in your mind.

No Right Angles

November is National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo). This post is part of my post-a-day challenge. I have picked a theme for the challenge: song titles. These songs have been featured on live albums from KEXP (an awesome alternative radio station in Seattle), so at a minimum you will hear some great music.

Last night I sat and looked at the logo of Lifeline International and noticed something – the edges around the heart are rough.

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Lifeline International (an agency focused on adoption and foster care) has designed their logo with rough edges because parenting orphans is sometimes messy. I love the message in this design. Expect rough edges and love them.

What is your outlook on people, their work, or yourself. Do you expect everything to be “buttoned up” all the time? We all have rough edges. The lack of right angles makes us human. Do you love and accept that, or are you forever trying to put right angles where they don’t belong.

The impressionists (Degas, Manet, Monet, Renior) were ridiculed by the famous artists of their day because one could still see the brushstrokes on their paintings! Who thinks those brushstrokes are objectionable today? Embrace the brushstrokes in your life that others can see and resist the urge to create right angles.

 

The Fold

November is National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo). This post is part of my post-a-day challenge. I have picked a theme for the challenge: song titles. These songs have been featured on live albums from KEXP (an awesome alternative radio station in Seattle), so at a minimum you will hear some great music.

The word fold typically refers to a flock of sheep. Sheep are helpless out in the open. They flock together in folds because there is safety in numbers.

Being vulnerable is the key to developing real empathy and deeper relationships. Vulnerability allows you to grow. There has to be some risk that you will fail if you want to succeed at anything meaningful.

But don’t do it alone. Be vulnerable with other people that are also vulnerable. This is why I think the concept of the fold is important. Surround yourself with safe people. Protect your fellow sheep and grow together.