Self Improvement

Another Way

There is always another way. If the path is blocked or a barrier rises up, there is always another way. I’m not completely sure that is always true but it is the premise that I begin with when faced with an obstacle. If i encounter resistance, it is an opportunity to reflect, reset, and restart or resist, regroup, and reconfirm or retreat, reform and reengage. Or any number of other re’s . What the barrier identifies is a possibility that hasn’t been considered and shouldn’t be taken as a criticism or a personal affront. The barrier may simply be surmounted, circumvented or crashed or there may be a reason to think about the approach and discover that there is a different and better way to get to your destination. Don’t be deterred unless reflection tells you that the new information offers an insight that you hadn’t considered. Then there may be a reason to reimagine the destination in a new light. Tilting at windmills is something I have done and only rarely has it been satisfying and even more rarely has it been successful. But if new information serves to inform the map and suggest a detour then that is valuable to achieving your goals.

I try not to anticipate a block in my path and try not to be watching for it but when I encounter one , I want to be able to examine what put it there, does it serve a purpose, is it an accident or an anomaly or should I be concerned about danger or other ramifications? I suspect that most of us get a feeling of disappointment when confronted with a setback but if we can get past that to the learning there is another way, there always is.


Are You Adding Value?

What is your contributions to the conversation? Are you adding to the relationship? Is your performance value enhancing at work? Do you stop to consider how you impact each situation or are you droning through each day oblivious to your responsibility?

I encounter far too many, well educated, blessed Americans and Canadians who don’t see how they subtract and detract from opportunities by being unaware of the consequences they are creating. Today, I am not suggesting that you change any habit, reverse any decision, act any differently. I am just suggesting that you take a moment (no longer) to consider how your decisions, actions and choices impact those around you. I am not asking you to consider butterfly wings and the weather in Japan but rather the small squalls and potential tsunamis that you are willingly inflicting on family, friends, colleagues and neighbors.

Take a moment to consider how slamming a door in someone’s face (either literally or metaphorically) impacts them. Think about what consequence arises when you cut someone off in traffic rather than give way and space. were the words you spoke necessary, necessary now and spoken in kindness?

We can all do better and considering the other. When we do, we reach the acme of Maslow’s pyramid and begin becoming fully actualized.

Be considerate today,



Willful Blindness

I am re-reading Margaret Heffernan’s ” Willful Blindness” and was reminded about the Febreeze (I think) ad that depicts how we can go nose blind to the odours around us because the become part of the soup we are swimming in. What would be the Febreeze solution to not seeing other possibilities as possible because we have such a great investment in continuing the current practice? What spray could get rid of (not mask) the stench of complacency? How do we break the confirmation bias mold and launch into the unknown?

Right Wrong

Maybe it happens by playing against tendencies. I am going to explore ‘taking the other path’ this month and will report in when I am stunned, surprised or disturbed by the results. I will try to persistently think about my decisions and when faced with a fork, take the one that my ‘instincts’ reject.  Today, I don’t know what to expect but I am excited about how shaking things up a bit more might unfold.

Make Today Remarkable, by getting rid of some blindness,




Make These Three Days Positive

Positive or negative, it is your choice. Inside our head, we have the opportunity to change the script. Once edited, the new dialogue will facilitate a re-framing. The process of shifting the focus from negative to positive requires some small changes in behaviour. Geoffrey James posted 57 small changes on Muse. It is definitely worth a read but here are my favourite five.

4. Begin Each Day with Expectation – I try to focus on my preferred future before my feet it the floor at 5am. On the days I resist jumping into the day and staying for a moment to dwell in the possibilities, I find solace.

9. Define “Failure” as “Failing to Take Action” – my serious action bias loves this one. The only wrong thing to do is nothing.

17. Drink More Water – Like most westerners I don’t do a good job of ensuring that I stay hydrated. My body can scream and I can still ignore it so this is my number one small thing to work on.

31. Never Attend Agenda-less Meetings – my biggest pet peeve (after drivers who can’t merge) is wasting my time and that of others sitting in a circle as a way of justifying employment. Set the agenda, stick with the agenda and honour the decisions arising.

55. Work 40 Hours a Week (or Less) – This one I am beginning to master. after years of 70 hour weeks, I am usually heading home as my energy and productivity fades at about 3:30


Make Today, Tomorrow and Thursday Positive,




What are You Doing to Improve Your Health

Right now, this moment as you read this post – what are you doing (not considering or thinking about) for your personal healthcare? Nothing? If you aren’t taking action to be healthy then you are taking action to be ill, unwell, unhealthy. There are consequences. I am not suggesting that you need to make radical changes (maybe your doctor should offer that prescription), I am asking you to become aware of your choices. That burrito with mexifries and all the trimmings is a choice (one I have made often) that is fraught with consequences. Walking two flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator has different consequences. We seem to move through our convenient lives oblivious of the ramifications.

I respect and support your freewill and your right to make whatever decision is right for you (leaving me and others unharmed) but you have a responsibility to be aware, acknowledge and accept the results of those decisions (holding me and others blameless).

Our disease management system attempts to absolve us of that responsibility but creating new diseases, procedures, drugs and treatments so that we can pretend we are objects of our health rather than active participants.

Right now, make a healthier choice and celebrate your participation. Try it again in 18 minutes, and again in 42 minutes … maybe all the choices won’t be the best but when they are; recognize that you chose and celebrate.