Monday, January 31, 2005

Falling Awake

I've had this book for quite sometime now, but, as is the case with many of the books on my bookshelves, timing is everything.

I grabbed it off the shelf as I work to prepare for the "Unconvention," an unconventional workshop my friend Gail and I are hosting on Wednesday, and I was reminded of the insight, vision, and beauty this book inspires.

The book is an exercise book - meaning you have to participate, not just observe to get the most out of it. But it's also a beautiful picture book, so there are many ways to be inspired.

Here's an excerpt from page 2:

The simple experience of waking up from sleep is natural and easy. It requires no effort, struggle, or will power.

This book invites you to "fall awake" with similar ease. First, you can fall awake to a full awareness of what you really want in all areas of your life. You can invent new possibilities and unleash inspiring passions. You can fall awake to all the amazing details that make up the life of your dreams.

Second, you can fall awake to what you already know. You can recognize all of your achievements and acknowledge how accomplished you've become. You can tap into your natural brilliance. You can become more fully aware of your ability to make things happen and to turn your visions into realities.

And third, you are invited to appreciate more fully how wonderful your life is right now. Even while wanting more and recognizing that some things could be different, you can celebrate all of the wonderful and abundant attributes of your current life.

By reading, writing, discovering, and taking actions, you can fall awake and create the life of your dreams.

What a wonderful idea. Check out the book by Dave Ellis or check out his website at Let's all work together to raise the quality of our lives - immediately, dramatically, and permanently, as Dave promises. We're not cut out to sustain these dramatic changes on our own - anyone up for a discussion, even online here, to raise the level of our lives? I'm in!

Friday, January 21, 2005

Talk to Anyone Anywhere - for FREE!

I just had a conversation - a real conversation - with a friend in Chicago over the computer for free, using a service called Skype ( The quality was fabulous, and it sure beats instant messaging and typing! All you need is a microphone and speakers (I got a headset with 2 jacks at K-Mart for $9.99).

It was fun to connect with Tony and hear his voice - and knowing I can spend the money it cost to talk to him on a movie this weekend doesn't hurt, either!

Now we're exploring free ways to share PowerPoints or other documents live. Anyone have suggestions?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

This Is Your Life

Remember the old Ralph Edwards show This Is Your Life, a "semi-documentary-style presentation wherein the lives of show-business personalities, who appear as guests, are relived through the testimonies of friends and family" (from Tim's TV Showcase website)? Maybe I'm showing my age, but I vaguely remember the host reading from a big book the highlights of some celebrity's life and then voices would come from backstage telling stories about the person, and they would re-unite for a wonderful homecoming celebration.

That's the topic of today's blog for a couple of reasons. First of all, how often do people get the chance to 1) have their life's accomplishments recognized and celebrated in this way and 2) to be part of celebrating someone else's life's accomplishments? Usually this is what funerals or wakes are for, right? Isn't it strange that our customs are set up to celebrate and acknowledge us when we're not even around to appreciate it?

Another reason that is the topic of today's blog is for the amazing clarity those four words have the potential to provide. THIS - IS - YOUR - LIFE. No more. No less. This is it. You can even get a slightly different context for yourself if you shift the emphasis. THIS - is - your - life. This - IS - your - life. This - is - YOUR - life. And this - is - your - LIFE. Try each of those on. Do you see what I mean?

I'm reminded of how important it is for us to remember that for ourselves. It really affects the way we live (or exist), the way we work (or survive), the way we play (or sulk), and the way we respond (or blame).

I think we're getting more ready for Bill Jensen's 2002 book called "Work 2.0: Rewriting the Contract." In this book, which was released shortly after 9-11 (which we all know affected our workplaces way more than we could have ever imagined), Bill writes about how
"more than ever before, we're rediscovering that people do matter! The human-side of the equation still drives productivity, efficiency, and business results." (from the book jacket)

Work 2.0 is about a new work contract that employees can write as they look for work that lights them up and makes them come alive.

It may sound a bit radical to state our needs as employees. Bill warns in the welcome of the book: "This is a book for doers. Builders. Leaders who are willing to get their fingernails dirty in the details....It is a book for people who are willing to put their values and passions, as well as their accountabilities, on the line."

But, after all, This Is Your Life.

Celebrate who you are - and celebrate with others. Life is too short - and too long - to spend your days, hours, minutes, doing things that don't resonate with you. If we aren't able to articulate our own wants and needs, how can we expect others to do that for us? They can't read our minds - especially if we haven't got a clear message to put out there for them.


Wednesday, January 12, 2005

It's very Worthwhile!

I was introduced tonight to a rather new publication called "Worthwhile" (thanks for the tip, Sharon!) and I am compelled to share it here.
Here is a paragraph from their website:

About Worthwhile Magazine
The editorial mission of WORTHWHILE is to put purpose and passion on the same plane as profit. WORTHWHILE offers a roadmap for business success that is more personally fulfilling and socially responsible. We live by the motto that it is impossible to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.

Wow. I'm inspired. Check it out (or go get a copy at Barnes & Noble or subscribe on their website) and let's compare notes.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Loudest Voice Wins

I heard that once at a class I was taking and I think it's a great phrase to be reminded of every now and then.
The loudest voice wins.

It doesn't necessarily mean the loudest voice in volume, but the voice that is the most persistent, the most passionate, the most present.

I've found myself smack dab in the middle of a couple of situations recently which have shown me the importance of that phrase. I just wish I would have remembered it sooner (you know how it feels to leave a situation wishing you had said something? or when you said something you wish you hadn't said?).

For me, I've been not saying things I think I need to say. In two organizations I'm involved with, I seem to have the most out-there ideas - the ideas that seem to be challenging the status quo more than any others. Consequently, they're being met with resistance by the majority of the group(s). My first reaction is to shut down and withdraw. But I'm beginning to see that in order for either of the groups to establish consensus, we need to have loud voices for both sides. If we need to come to some sort of compromise in our decision-making processes, and the goal is to come to the middle, when I withdraw, I skew the results. Instead of a 50-50 compromise where both "sides" are heard equally, my withdrawing makes the compromise even further from my position than if I had continued the conversation.

So even though I may face the slings and arrows, my voice needs to be heard. And I'm the one who is responsible for its persistence, passion, and presence.

Perception is Reality

Do you know how others perceive you? Have you ever wondered? Do you even care?

You may have heard this proverb somewhere along your career path:

They'll never care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Trite? Maybe. But there's probably a nugget of truth there. In fact, I've learned recently that often the things that seem to bug me the most usually carry with them a lesson I need to learn.

We are measured ...
Not by what we are, but by the perception of what we seem to be;
Not by what we do, but by how we appear to do it.

It really doesn't matter what I think as it relates to my behavior in the world. If I'm a nice, caring person in my own mind but occur in the world as a pushy blowhard, that's what I am. Others' perception is their reality, and unless I'm willing to take a look at that through eyes other than my own, I'm destined to remain forever locked in that perception.

It's as easy (and as difficult) as having a conversation. But I've got to be willing to hear - really hear - what the other person says.

Try it - I guarantee it will make all the difference in the world.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Intentions for 2005

Now is the time of the year when people are making resolutions - another of those words that comes with its own built-in baggage. You know, those words that have some sort of context already attached. When we make resolutions, we often know we're not going to really DO what we resolve.

How about calling this year's resolutions intentions instead? What if we live 2005 with Intention and do things ON PURPOSE - WITH PURPOSE?

I recently became a published author - in the book Don't Miss Your Boat . It's a collection of stories by and about people who are living their purpose.

One thing to keep in mind when pondering the word "intention" is to remember that there is a huge difference between intending to do something and doing something with intention.

One will get you a fulfilled life and the other will leave you with a life of regret.

It's always your choice. And it's possible to choose every single day.

So make 2005 your Year of Intention - and start living your unique purpose!

Happy New Year!