I’m sitting at the Jetblue gate in LAX reading The Times as I wait for my plane to board. The cover article addresses a recent climate change study that specifically points to carbon emissions as a most likely catalyst for more intense drought conditions in California and other climate related problems around the world. Maybe it’s time for political candidates to stop denying climate change and band together before life on this planet gets even harder? After all, isn’t living happy, successful, and healthy lives challenging enough without having to deal with drought, giant storms, and dying fish?
This week Adam Bryant interviews Marla Malcom Beck, the chief executive of Bluemercury, a beauty products and spa services retailer. I really appreciate her no-nonsense, common sense approach to life and business! Regarding hiring she states, “In about two minutes, I can ascertain skill based on what they’ve done… Will is about hunger so I’ll ask what do you want to do in five or 10 years.”
Brent Frei, the co-founder of Smartsheet.com, a project and software management company, looks for people who are “mentally athletic and agile.” He prefers attitude and aptitude over experience. I like his perspective, a lot!
This Aaron Chang photograph of the Milky Way Galaxy reminds me of the limitless nature of life and the cosmos! It’s easy to become caught up in the day to day challenges of living and forget that we live on a rock spinning on its axis at thousands of miles per hour, hurling around the sun in a system that rotates around our galaxy which is interconnected with other galaxies trillions of light years away. Sometimes, dI coach people to look up at the sky every once in a while to remind oneself how truly amazing this whole experience is!
An article by David Busis in the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times entitled ‘Meanwhile in a Parallel Universe,’ is very interesting. The author is frustrated and uncertain about his career while a college buddy has made millions doing what he loves as an entrepreneur. Mr. Busis and his wife vacation with his buddy and his new flame setting the stage for discomfort as everything seems better for his buddy than himself.
Robert Reid, the C.E.O of Intacct, a cloud-based software company, believes that most issues with execution come down to training and process. He states, “If somebody is not doing what you expect or you have a different viewpoint, you need to seek to understand what’s going on and help them.”
Nicholas Kristof, a celebrated New York Times columnist, has written a series of articles on racial issues in America several entitled, “Why whites don’t get it.” This poignant article on a 13 year-old black male who was sentenced to life in prison for shooting Debbie Baigrie in the face causing severe and lasting injuries. Though she suffered immensely from her ordeal, Ms. Baigrie has been in correspondence with her attacker, Ian Manuel, for over two decades even arguing on his behalf for early release.
I found the New York Times Sunday Review cover article by Arthur C. Brooks particularly interesting having lived in relatively affluent environments on and off for decades. People who are overly focused on acquiring and maintaining things often miss a huge part of the process of happiness which is more related to experiences and our perception of them. The swami Mr. Brooks interviewed, a Western educated enunciate, agrees that the problem lies not in abundance but in out attachment to abundance which is one way of defining materialism. The solution, according to the author, is to celebrate abundance but not be hung up on it by collecting experiences, avoid doing things only as a means to an end and cultivating one’s faith.
Last night my girlfriend and I tried Moroccan food, a new experience for both of us! One of the pleasures of living in big cities like New York or LA is the diversity of people, cultures and especially food. I love to try new things and have new experiences. I especially love it when it’s spontaneous like last night when we drove down Westwood Blvd in LA and pulled into the parking lot of this restaurant solely because it looked interesting. Too often in life many of us do the same things over and over mired in similar routines. No wonder so many people are tired and bored. Win, loose or draw, mix it up a bit. It’s a great way to live!
I’m a big fan of people who communicate straight-up and with integrity. The challenge for many of us is consistency and practice. The more we practice being straight forward and authentic the better we get. I often tell people that I am a trying to help and teach people to communicate better and with more authenticity. And the good news is that the more we practice the more graceful we become!
Roger Ferguson, C.E.O of TIAA-CREF, the retirement services provider, is a huge believer in personal responsibility. So am I! The first thing I do with a new client or business is to make sure they own everything in their lives regardless of how difficult that might be. Our parents and early environment may shape who we were but what we become rests upon taking ownership of who we are, our strengths, weaknesses and all the rest. Determining to change what we don’t like and develop ourselves by constantly learning and growing is how will become what we want.
These days travel can be stressful given the TSA stuff, Ebola, and congestion among other issues. Nevertheless, I find travel to be deeply rewarding because it offers me so many different perspectives on life and business. I tend to be very open and friendly when I travel thereby meeting lots of interesting people from all kinds of backgrounds. It’s a great way to learn and expand your awareness. The more exposed one is to diverse perspectives the greater the chance of relating to others as if we are all in this together as opposed to us verses them or other limited ways of thinking and being. People are fascinating in all their shapes and sizes and personalities. And at the end of the day, most people want to feel and be loved even if they have a funny way of showing it at times!
I’m a huge pet and nature lover! Clients often come to me for Stress Management issues. I often suggest they spend time in nature, with a pet if they have one, or both. It’s nearly impossible to stay in your head, stressed out and miserable if you go for a long hike. Nature is so powerful that the elements will eventually cause the mind to release or let go! When was the last time you found yourself stressed out on a fishing boat? At some point, the mind lets go when exposed to beauty and the natural world, especially in copious amounts. So take a hike, go fishing or just hang with your beast the next time you are upset and see how the magic of nature and animals help!