TORNADOES AND THE MARSHMALLOW POLICY

There are some people you don’t particularly
want to like you.
These are the tornado people who run
destructive paths through your day.

High winds and hot air.
There is no type of insurance to have that will help you
with the cleanup from the calamity they leave behind.
They’re not helping you pickup either.

When you see a storm coming, you get ready.
When the tornado is bearing down on you, you just get out of it’s way.
You lose when you get swept up in the storm.

If you have to go through it, know that the buildings that survive are the ones
with the strongest foundations, and the deep roots of basements.
You will have losses if things you didn’t see coming are flying at you from all directions.
It’s chaos in there.

Better to let the tornado pass and continue on as normal,
like the other side of town that didn’t have to stop and rebuild, even temporarily.
You get to keep your direction, your momentum.

What does this mean in practicality?

Give up to the tornado people what they need so they can pass on by.
Don’t get swept up by it. Don’t feed it.
The tornado will try to suck you in but hang on.
Quit them as fast and as respectfully as you are able.
Don’t be noticed as a problem or extra effort may be made to drag you in,
like a sharp change of direction.

You may issue warnings but do so carefully and sparsely because a tornado
is not going to stop. And any of your barking is drowned out by the giant
sucking sound of the vacuum.

What you are really looking for is an ability to absorb.

I had this vision of being lined with Marshmallows.
It’s like bubble wrap but tastier.
This is my Tornado insurance – a marshmallow policy.

I think Ghostbusters proved that turning into
the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is an anomaly.

BE THE PROCESS

We are living in such an instant culture now.
We are either on or off, it works or it doesn’t.
Like a light switch.

No Lightswitches – Let it grow

When you build something it has a gestation period, a time it takes
to grow into maturity, to grow enough to be born and released into the world.
The idea or product needs finessing next.

It must be taught and given tools to stand on it’s own.
It must learn from what happens to it or around it.
Your project is not a lightswitch that is to be turned on and expected
to work straight away.
Even Edison’s process famously took 10,000 fails before being born.
Why is your project, idea, or new creation any different?

There are countless examples of a green light being given,
then being met with disgust and mistrust
when uncommunicated expectations are not met.
Poor communication will derail most projects or change their ability to work.
To get that green light to stay green, trust is required towards those with the vision.
This presumes good stories and communication have taken place, which is essential.

What it means to you

The most fun is to not only have or share the vision
but to be integrally involved in it’s creation.

If you are a part of the management team who makes decisions about projects,
look for those with the passion and the vision.
If they are allowed to unite and manage the project within clearly understood boundaries
you helped set, they can deliver far better with your trust.
Leave them alone to do their work.
You are the train engineer that must manage the speed of the operation
and keep it on the tracks. You must be your part of the process and let them be theirs.

If you are the production team put your ego aside and
make a great project become it’s best.
You have too much to do to waste time and energy on things that
don’t move the project forward towards the goals.

For all involved – Let it grow up.
You will all grow along with the project.

Be the process!

APPROVE OR IMPROVE

How much credit do you need
to start really living your own life?

In 1990 Dr. Anders Ericsson proposed that it takes about
10,000 hrs. to become expert – at anything.

We are now in a culture where instant is expected.
But of course instant, with all it’s rewards, undermines the character
gained thru the experience of daily work.

Do you love the work?

Being considered an expert is still subject to approval even if,
especially if, you are credentialed.

So what are you really working towards?
Credit as an expert or knowledge of a craft you enjoy?
You seek both with great effort but only one will pay satisfying rewards.
The reward should come from what you get to do as a result of this knowledge,
not the knowledge itself.

Put another way, get out of school and into the real world
where you can really start learning. Tell me that’s not true!
If a doctor was the smartest in the world about a specialty
but could not perform the surgery, he would not be of as much value
to the process and to the people needing his expertise.

Learn it – Do it.

Even extroverted credit seekers can be internally happy.
And happiness gets you past a great many self-induced stumbling blocks.

GREAT MINDS DON’T THINK ALIKE

In fact, quite the opposite.

“Great minds think alike” is something we say to feel good about ourselves.
We’re full of those – self-soothing lacks of reality.

A great mind is one that thinks differently than those around him/her.
Usually great minds are met with ridicule.
What they think is not usual, it’s not how things are done.

Maybe a great mind you know is not going to grow enough to become fully realized
because of our constant societal pressure with standards.
What starts as a dream, pie in the sky, can become a great thing.
I wonder how many great minds lose the battle of self-confidence
and allow themselves to be dragged back into normal behavior.

It is what school teaches.

Yes, of course, you do need standards to rise to so we have a high enough
baseline of intelligence to grow from as a nation.
But what we get as a side effect is compliance.
We are taught in school and in our jobs not to challenge, but rather to fit in.
Don’t rock the boat.

This is what great minds that we know have risen up and separated from.
It is also what great minds we don’t know have succumbed to.

Is anything really possible?
What do you think?

Be a great mind.
Don’t think like anybody else.

Think like you.

GIVE YOUR DOG A VOICE

If your dog talked,
what would she sound like?

Do you already do this?
I love to.
I call out what my dog’s looks mean as she’s looking back at me
trying to say words but can’t.
It’s improv but they give you the clues.
Not just what they say but how they say it and the voice you think they’d have.
Try it if you don’t already. It’s fun.

Your dog won’t know the difference.

YOUR BUMPER STICKER MAKES ME WANT TO KNOW YOU LESS

Why do people feel the need to tell us who they are when we aren’t asking?

We are living in a time when identity theft is rampant.
Yet people put more personal data out on social forums
than they ever would in any other part of their life.

So why are people still putting their names on their license plates?
Do they want YOU to know who they are or is it for them?
Are these the people wandering around parking garages?
Were they getting in the wrong cars?
Are bumper stickers just not getting the job done for these people?

How much do I really need to know about you in the 15-30 seconds
I see your car and the back of your head?
After seeing all the litter on the back of your car,
all you’re likely to get from most of the people you seem to be wanting
to connect with is a look of scorn for the one piece of information that they disagree with.

It’s not helping, people!

Here’s an idea – let’s put one erasable bumper sticker on your car,
made of white board so you can change your message at will
and have your own cause in one place, fresh daily for all behind you to see.
It can clean up your mini hate bombs and make your point clearer.
Fun!
This way the new levels of disdain change quickly
and people can dislike you in smaller increments.

I shall call it “Create-A-Cause.©”
Y’think that’ll work?

TEXTING TRUMPS HALLMARK

Turns out I can write better cards than Hallmark.
Their writers aren’t living my life.

When I have a good thought about someone in my circle of friends,
a practice I use is to let them know it.

It’s ironic that we have more communication tools and means than ever before
but our practice of communication is weaker than in the past.
It’s a human tool not simply machinery.

Think of it, how often do you get a text or email or phone message
where someone is telling you what a benefit you are to them in any way?

That thought that you had about that person came to you for some reason.
Act on it and see what happens.

Relationship is about being vulnerable/honest enough to tell the truth, good or bad.
If it’s easy to tell someone what they did wrong, that’s not nearly as constructive
as you think.

Being convinced against your will isn’t being convinced.

Telling them what you like about them or value, that would be affirming
and strengthen your ability to be listened to later if they did something
needing corrective input.

It’s easier than ever now.
I’ll shoot a text message when that happens to me.
When I get some of that back, I might reply that I’m glad to have thought of them today,
even just this quickly.
It’s funny how good conversations you have with trusted friends
seem to contain the very thing you need to hear.

I had a discussion with a good friend that shaped my thoughts due to their wisdom.

After having dinner with friends, I’ll text them later what I liked about our time,
a good line of the night or just that I appreciated it.
Very simple and not sappy. Real.

It’s what I love about New York – the ability to be real.
No problem telling you anything, good or bad.
The mindset seems to be – There’s things to do. I gotta get to ’em.
The result is that you know where you stand and you have the chance
to feel appreciated by those in your circle.

You have an affect others, make it a bond strengthening one.

HAVE IT YOUR WAY, SIR

Burger King’s scrapped it’s 40 year motto
“Have it your way.”
It was a good run.

That always sounded a bit snide to me –
“I’d like a whopper with no pickles, scrape some of the seeds off the bun,
three dots of mustard in there, mix the ketchup with the mustard and no lettuce.”
They come back with “Have it YOUR way.”

But I can’t even try that anymore. It’s not their slogan.

The answer that tells me I can’t have it my way always starts the same –
“Sir…”

Sir is not a form of respect to me,
it’s the opening to a formulaic, oppositional business response.
It’s used opposite of it’s definition.
They don’t respect or honor you as a “sir”,
in fact, they’re closer to hating you at that moment.

Starting with a stern “sir” means, you can’t have it your way.

Burger King slogans that were not considered
Take your Food and Go
Serf and turf
Have it our way
Bite me
The Large Kingdom
Home of the BkNugget

I CAN’T – THE WHINERS CREDO

There’s always one.
Whiners whine.
They don’t realize there is another way, I guess.

Whiners are people who try making their problems yours to handle.
Their problems are manufactured by what they will not do.
It’s grinding to be near.
There is a constant stream of helplessness in a new situation,
and new = bad.

There is a crisis when a problem is encountered, when things don’t go as expected,
and when perfection is not reached.
Problems are an every day occurrence.
Yet, somehow people always seem to kick in and help the whiner.
The whiner gets upset because they overprice the doubt we all feel
when we don’t know how to fix something at that moment.
Rather than try, or learn, their inability to control their emotional state,
combined with a minor panic, leads them to the repeating pattern
of getting others to fix their problem so they can get back to their
safety float zone inside the buoys.

I’m not talking about training in a job, I’m talking about a way of life.
They’re surrounded by their bad choices.
They are usually victims and they usually wonder why this is happening to them.
Every job has at least one, and often more, to varying degrees.

The Value In Not Helping

I’ve spent years thinking that I was helping these people by helping these people.
It has ended up where at one point they get mad at you for not properly fixing their issue
the way they thought it should be fixed. If a different issue arises because of your changes,
you will be held in contempt for doing things that created the problem.

Stay as far away from the inside game of these individuals as you can.
You cannot win.
Do what you must and move away.
Save yourself from the I can’t brigade.

The best way they could solve their own problems is if they run out of help.

You and your services are not for everyone.
That too is a way of thinking.
You can only be of benefit to those who are seeking the benefit.

Value yourself enough to realize who can benefit from an interaction with you.
A good interaction is when you benefit from them as well. That is what works best.
Even works of charity, when well received, allows you to gain from the interaction.
I can learn from every person but I’d rather learn things of value
rather than learning what not to do.
While there is value in noticing what not to do, it’s mostly draining.

The truth is, their choice isn’t I can’t , it’s I won’t.
Fix your mind to be set apart from the whiner.
When you tell yourself I can and I will, you surprisingly find a way.
It’s passing the speedbumps on the way to finding the answers
that fills our lives with renewed wonder and confidence to move towards new things.

I don’t say whine, I say whine not.

WATER ENGINEERS

So you’ve got teams of professionals at
a bottled water company.
There’s engineers and some really smart
and technical people there.

But if you lose a job like that, when you go to work for, say, a soda Company,
then that’s a pretty big learning curve.

“How much potassium chloride did yours have?
Break down for us if you would
your nutritional values and how you maintained it.”
“Well ours was zero. We did nothing. It’s water mostly.”

I’d have to say that he is about as much of an engineer
as the guy who gets to steer the train.

Have you ever gotten in a dispute with a water snob?
They can divine the differences enough to pay more for water
that has the same amount of zero’s on the nutritional value chart but tastes better.
Not the difference between Coke or Pepsi,
not steak or chicken kind of difference – water.

How much taste can no taste really have?
I guess that’s why the water engineers have a job at all.
The more I know, the more I know I don’t know.