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Words to inspire the belief that we have all we need to be the change we wish to see.

Category: Article (Page 1 of 65)

To be or to do

Author Ryan Holiday was talking with Tim Ferriss on The Tim Ferriss Show and he said, “To be or to do? This is a key question that comes to us from the great strategist John Boyd who, as he mentored young men and women in the Pentagon, would see that you kind of can go down two paths in life. There’s the person who wants to look important, that wants to achieve a high rank, that wants to be in the newspapers or on TV. Then there’s the person who wants to quietly get things done. I think it was Truman who said, ‘It’s amazing how much you can accomplish if you don’t care about who gets the credit.’

To be or to do is largely about credit. Do you care about accomplishments, or do you care about impact? Do you care about credit, or do you care about getting things done? You have to ask yourself, ‘Am I trying to be an important person? Am I trying to accomplish important things?’ And this question is critical, ‘To be or to do?’ How are you measuring your life?

Hillel said, ‘If I am not for me, who is?’ And then he said, ‘If I am only for me, who am I?’ This, I think, is related to the idea of to be or to do.” Continue reading

How messaging can affect our outlook

I was listening to Professor Heather Cox Richardson this week talk about current affairs and how messaging can affect our outlook and actions. Driving some to do terrible things for a supposed cause or take part in a figurative war that those holding the societal marionette strings want to see come to fruition.

She used the example of Shakespeare’s Othello. Iago was jaded about being passed up for a promotion, so he started whispering in Othello’s ear. Gaslighting him. Telling him stories about his life and his wife. The story ends badly for Othello and those he loves. But it got me thinking. Continue reading

Four Thousand Weeks

I’m reading Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman. What an eye-opener. The premise is that we have four thousand weeks if we’re lucky. And how do we plan to spend them?

Constantly chasing after the next carrot, running on a symbolic treadmill, or simply accepting that we can’t do it all and focusing on what matters to us the most? Continue reading

The chance to do a very special thing

I saw this quote from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and it made me think. He said, “To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.”

Our finest hour. Do we even know what it may look like? Does it happen at the job we are doing now? Is it part of a future job that we can’t even imagine doing today? Will it be using a skill we would define ourselves as having or something far deeper, that we haven’t even discovered yet? Continue reading

Never doubted

My friend Sarah Kirby, who recently won the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education, shared something last week. She said she once attended a training session with a professional speaker. He told a story about a dad who gave his young son’s skates to another child when his son grew out of them. The son told his dad that he would have to get the skates back because he was going to be a record breaker and his skates would be needed for the Hall of Fame. His dad apologized to the other child, gave him some money to buy skates and took his son’s skates back. His son went on to become a world-famous speed skater and his skates are now on display. The dad never doubted his son. Even when he was just starting out.

That made me smile. When my 19-year-old son came to me two months ago and said he was going to run for mayor, my first question was, “Okay, what happens next?” Continue reading

The Art of Living

A friend of a friend recently went to the bookstore at Harvard. She asked the person at the cash what book had the highest sales in the store. The employee said, “The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness by Epictetus – A New Interpretation by Sharon Lebell.”

So I had to pick it up of course. Continue reading

The father of marketing

I watched marketing guru Seth Godin speaking this week about something I hadn’t heard before. He spoke of Josiah Wedgewood, an English potter and abolitionist from the 1700s. Wedgewood made a quality product and told the right tale to have his dishes and bowls selling across Europe and beyond. In fact, many people have Wedgewood plates in their homes today, hundreds of years later. He was the father of marketing as he came up with the concepts of free delivery, money back guarantee and mail order.

And guess who Josiah Wedgewood’s grandson was? Continue reading

Be scared and do it anyway

I saw a meme on social media this week that said, “Be scared and do it anyway. Be under-qualified, and get in the room anyway. Be messy, imperfect, and unsure and show up anyway. Comfort is the enemy of growth. Get uncomfortable.”

I have always told my kids that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Embrace the fear, remember you don’t have all the answers, but start. Continue reading

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