Sunday, November 27, 2011

Where are you?

In the past few months I've written several suggestions and questions for you. It is my belief that the things I am thinking through may be of use to some one else, some place else. It is not that all people for all time should apply all things I say; far from it! There are a few people who are at a point in their lives that one or two things I talk about will help them reach whatever their next step is.

It is also my belief that all of us can do better at the basic things we apply our lives to. You may or may not be at a place where my notes help, but you are some place and generally you are on the way to some place else. I have a few interesting blogs I read. The important ones I keep linked to from here. Those people often write things that help me where I am.

Who helps you? Is it a blog, a friend, a mentor? How are you doing in your own growth? Is there anything I can do to help you?

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Much of my current reading pushes the concept of mental attitude as a critical factor of success. A strong, if not the strongest, factor in mental attitude is physical well-being. The level of exercise, the proper diet, the amount of rest; each of these has a critical part to play in your physical and mental health.

You can imagine the agony those of us who like greasy burgers and immoderate portions of chocolate feel when this is discussed. It's like living on those cheap cardboard tasting pizzas we used to order all the time. Filling, but...ugh! And we don't even get the pepperoni grease!

So, I know that my body is a temple and I've been making more room for the Holy Spirit. He can do with much less cubic foot space, I'm being told. It may even keep me around longer since my blood has to be pushed through a back lane country road over a lot more mileage.

To act upon this I have started taking a combination of Pilates, Tai Chi, and Yoga. No real mysticism in the class, unless you count what keeps the fat boy coming back. The teacher is helpful, the movements are modifiable to fit what I can currently do, and surprisingly I leave class with more energy than I showed up with.

Since I missed class all last week (I'm blaming work; ignore the Hershey's Kisses wrappers around my desk) I knew it was time to get in some movement. Those of you with pine trees in your yard are probably well familiar with the "rake wet needles against the fence" routine us Westerners have come up with. Some of you are probably used to the advanced modification "while avoiding dog poo".

While I must admit that the workout was harder than reading about a new exercise routine, it seems to have gotten more done. Mostly clean yard, sweaty brow, and blistered hand. My mental state is elevated, no CPR was required, and I can sit back and watch a movie with a clear conscience and "to do" board.

What about you? Have you started linking your diet, exercise, and overall health to your plans for success?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

When I grow up.

I'm still not sure what I want to do when I grow up. Chronologically I'm old enough to have grand-children, mentally I'm a bit giddy about all the neat things I want to learn. That is, however, the biggest frustration I have right now. My brain can handle learning a thing or two. My list of "I want to learn..." is a couple dozen items long. Even if I were as smart as I used to think I was, there is  no way I can learn all that at one time.

Time, however, may be on my side. You probably noticed that I write about leadership philosophy. Few things are more dear to my heart than helping people grow at work and in life. On the recent family vacation my wife went and took beautiful pictures of the Great Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. I sat around the campfire and read "Management" by Peter Drucker. Great stuff, I have several pages of notes and last week's blog post in my notebook now. It was fun coming back to work and seeing how I can put Drucker's thoughts into practice.

This weekend I've spent some more time with dear Peter and have another stack of notes I want to master in practice. One of which is planned continuous learning. Instead of confusing both my brain cells I'm going to pick a topic and spend the next year or so on it. Well, in addition to the Drucker learning and the physical workouts to keep the achey-creakies away. A topic, mind you, means the other nearly two dozen topics are not going to be allowed to intrude on my learning. I have wasted a large amount of time bouncing from one topic to another, to another, and to another. In the past few weeks I have learned little except that I can easily waste time thinking about learning instead of actually learning.

I think humans are easily distracted. Am I right? Do you find yourself looking over a new product or magazine instead of spending time learning those things you said you wanted to know? Have you gotten into an activity cycle that keeps you so busy you can't find time to learn anything? My brain was boggled! It kept being so until I figured out something and promised myself that I will stand firm on this (my wife is probably snickering at this point). I will waffle, that is, I will allow myself to fail some times. But I will come back to my path and see where I am in a few months.

How about you? Is there something you want to learn? A new mental adventure you want to set out on? Now is a good time to start! Much better than "tomorrow".