Original Thought · Self Improvement

100 Day Celebration

What are you celebrating this morning? The first breath after waking from a deep and delicious slumber? A dry roof and warm and comfortable home? A fresh cup of coffee or clean drinking water? Are you taking so many blessings for granted as to feel underprivileged?

I know I can miss the everyday when I am looking for something grand and elaborate. I disregard the lottery I have won being born in North America, receiving an education, in a democracy that allows if not encourages my dissent in favor of complaining about a difficult decision as to what I should eat for lunch. Complaining that there isn’t anything new to try or bemoaning the fact that there are too many choices on the menu.

This is first world whining but more tragically it is a lack of appreciation for the blessings in our lives. If we don’t recognize and acknowledge the worth of these gifts it is a waste and maybe we shouldn’t be the recipients. I know that habit isn’t heroic but I urge you to take 2 minutes every day (as early as possible in your day) to celebrate something that you are grateful for. Take one minute and reflect on your current situation and then take one minute and hold your own mini celebration by writing down one thing that you are grateful for today. Write something on the same page each day for 100 days or write on a small note and place it in a jar or post one word on social media with #celebrateblessings.

Reflect, celebrate, acknowledge. If you start tomorrow you will have celebrated 100 times on December 23, 2016. Will you join me? I will be writing on one and posting on Facebook and Twitter.

Make Today Remarkable, because it is,


Self Improvement

Ignoring isn’t Rude

Well of course it can be. When someone you care about or who cares about you reaches out, in words, actions, writing it is rude not to respond. Ignoring people who care about you, who have your interests at heart and who treat you with respect is a certain path to having fewer people who care about you, who have your interests at heart and who treat you with respect. When in the midst of a group or in a pairing, be present regardless of what else is going on in your life. I saw t-shirt yesterday that said ” Because I care about you, I turned my phone off.” If you struggle with attention issues and are drawn to check email, Twitter or Snapchat in the middle of a conversation, maybe you should take that slogan to heart.

An unnamed participant on a Quora forum said “It feels as if you’re unimportant and nobody should have to feel that way, therefore it’s best if you stay away from people whose personalities make you feel less than worthy.”

Remarkable people use their strengths to strengthen others and so they never stop being polite to/with respectful, caring people. You have the opportunity every day to be remarkable and demonstrate that others are worthy of your attention.

But in an age of hyper engagement on social media and in local newspapers, trolls and haters feed on the politeness of others hoping that they can become relevant by being noticed. Ignore them and there bait as completely and quickly as possible. If you lower yourself to the muck, you become a pig rooting in their sty. Stay above it and they lose their power.

Make Today Remarkable by ignoring haters and acknowledging lovers,



Still Learning

If you realize you aren’t so wise today as you thought you were yesterday, you’re wiser today. – Olin Miller

I confess and profess to being a lifelong learner. I am a voracious reader (65 books last year and more than 25 already this year), I scan and read from 50 blogs daily, read interesting articles in 3 online newspapers, listen to 5 or 6 podcasts a week, reflect and write every day. I learn something everyday from a wide array of sources.

But, I have a very hard time learning from my mistakes. I don’t like making mistakes and in an average week I make dozens. Lots of them I have made before. There is some Einstein insanity in not trying a different approach.

Maybe I am blind and deaf to these lessons. Maybe I suffer from delusions of grandeur that has me believing that the outcome will change. Maybe I have a significant case of conformation bias – when something happens that I already agree with, I embrace it but …

Maybe it is a combination of these and other causes but there is a remedy. Scott Berkun’s 2011 post on LifeHacker is worth a read but it seems the path to learning begins simply with “courageously standing up and honestly saying “This is my mistake and I am responsible” the possibilities for learning will move towards you. Admission of a mistake, even if only privately to yourself, makes learning possible by moving the focus away from blame assignment and towards understanding. Wise people admit their mistakes easily. They know progress accelerates when they do.”

As difficult and countercultural as that is I am going to own my mistakes, acknowledge my mistakes, and ask myself/others how I can fix my mistakes.

I will try keep you updated on my progress.