Friday, April 24, 2009

The Do-Be-Do (or dooby doo) Dilemma

The crooners like Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. were on to something with their "dooby doo" songs of years gone by. Maybe that was their reminder to keep clear the distinction between DOING and BEING.

Why is it that when we're little kids, no one asks us what we want to DO for a living? They always ask us what we want to BE when we grow up.

Yet when we grow up, we seem to be much more focused on the DOING of our lives than the BEING in them.

Think about what you wanted to be when you grew up. A fireman? A ballerina? A teacher? As a kid you just KNEW what it would be like to actually BE that. You played as if you really were a fireman. You danced around the living room as if you really were a ballerina. You set up classrooms for your dolls and bears and younger siblings and "taught" them everything you knew.

What happened?

In my case, I became more obsessed with the "right" answer than with asking the powerful question. I was scared to death about doing anything "wrong" or "failing" that I was in relentless pursuit of whatever it took to be the one who did things "right." I pursued goals and awards and anything that would give me external validation so I didn't have to THINK. Because when I would just BE, I would THINK and those thoughts were more like questions.

I've always been curious, and the question WHY has always been at the forefront of anything I do. Whether a project at work or directions to a restaurant, I wanted to see the big picture, and see how the pieces fit together. But at work, that question is not always welcomed. I learned to just DO, don't THINK, upon advice from friends and co-workers and anyone else who didn't want to think about the question WHY for him/herself.

I learned that most people are more comfortable (or so they think) in the routine, just doing what they do because they've always done it that way. The more I learn, however, the more I think those people have been DOING things the way I used to DO them ... to avoid the thoughts that come up when we just BE.

I'm learning to welcome those thoughts that come from quiet because I know they are connected to a higher source - or what Napoleon Hill calls "Infinite Intelligence." As we develop our mental muscle of Intuition, we begin to learn that there really are no coincidences ... things really do fit together perfectly (which is the mathematical definition of coincidental angles - those that fit perfectly).

So don't be afraid to just BE once in a while. Think about your mind like a snow globe ... when it's shaken up and frantic and frenzied, it just needs to settle down every once in a while and BE. Then you can enjoy the scene inside the snow globe. Take it from someone who lives in North Dakota - it's not as easy to see the scene when it's snowing!

Some of us are starting to wake up and realize that what we're DOING in our lives doesn't even resemble what we wanted to BE when we grew up. We're not BEING very present in our lives as we run from task to task, from errand to errand and never stop long enough to remember what we knew when we were little.

Maybe it's time to take some time and reflect, take stock, and determine if what you're DOING is leading you to a place where you BE fulfilled.

Here are a couple of things to allow yourself to think about:

1) Determine - for yourself - the distinction between the phrases "HUMAN BEING" and "BEING HUMAN." Discuss with your peeps.

2) Know Yourself. Study the specimen called (insert your name here). What are your strengths? Consider taking the Strengths Finder assessment (I just retook it and found out I'm Maximizer, Strategic, Ideation, Activator, Learner).

3) Get in the Game. Once you've determined WHO you are (sometimes that takes some BEING time), then get on the court. The game is not played from the stands.

Remember that practice makes permanent. What are you practicing? BUSYNESS (doing for the sake of doing) or STILLNESS (being quiet for the sake of being)?

It's about finding the place of harmony between what you BE and what you DO. And it's an experiment.

If not now, when? If not you, who?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Steve Farber is coming to Fargo!

Well, we made our goal! Steve Farber will officially be presenting information about his new book Greater Than Yourself in Fargo on Wednesday, September 30! Mark your calendars now!

We had a great response from our Fargo-Moorhead master minders who purchased 164 books in less than 2 weeks (that little flood situation you may have heard of probably had something to do with it!), a little short of our goal of 300 books; but thanks to the efforts of John Friend and the North Dakota Society for Human Resource Management, we made the goal and will be thrilled to host Steve in our community!

We will have extra books available for sale here in Fargo if anyone didn't get a chance to order one. I will deliver the books when they get here, so if you ordered one, watch for a special delivery in the next couple of weeks!

We've got some fun activities and projects and ideas floating around to prepare for Steve's presentation in September. Our Saturday master mind is taking this book on as our next study as soon as it gets here, so I'll report on our progress here.

Thanks to everyone who participated in our challenge!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Farber Countdown ...

We're into the home stretch and we're over halfway to our goal of 300 books sold by Friday, April 17 in order to bring Steve Farber to Fargo. As of 10 p.m. Thursday, we're at 167.

Let's see what we can achieve down the home stretch! Know any organizations who want to be part of a really cool project about servant leadership or succession planning or mentorship? Consider inviting five of your friends or business associates to join our efforts!

For more information about Steve Farber's Greater Than Yourself project, go to Click HERE to download a flyer about the presentation Steve will give in Fargo September 30 to kick off the ND SHRM convention if we reach our goal!

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Has Life Killed Your Dreams?

OK, I know odds are that you have seen the Susan Boyle video from Britain's Got Talent (if not, it's linked later here).

The story is amazing and there are so many metaphors we can take from this.

But have you listened to the words of the song? Listen to the video again and follow along with the words. Wow. What does Susan Boyle really know? What an outstanding example of never giving up, despite what the audience (and the people in other areas of her life - your life - our lives) tried to project to her!

Thank you Susan Boyle. More than you know.

"I Dreamed a Dream" From Les Miserables

There was a time when men were kind,
And their voices were soft,
And their words inviting.
There was a time when love was blind,
And the world was a song,
And the song was exciting.
There was a time when it all went wrong...

I dreamed a dream in time gone by,
When hope was high and life, worth living.
I dreamed that love would never die,
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.
Then I was young and unafraid,
And dreams were made and used and wasted.
There was no ransom to be paid,
No song unsung, no wine, untasted.

But the tigers come at night,
With their voices soft as thunder,
As they tear your hope apart,
And they turn your dream to shame.

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living,
So different now from what it seemed...
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed...

HERE'S THE LINK (YouTube shut off embedding, so go there and get it)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Farber Update

Stardate April 15, 6 a.m. Current reading on the "Bring Steve Farber to Fargo by selling 300 copies of Greater Than Yourself by Friday, April 17" is 129 books.

I know how great this book is ... I'm working on not SELLING the idea, but sharing my belief in the idea.

Is "sharing" more difficult than "selling"?

So if anyone has ideas to get more people engaged in this process in the Fargo-Moorhead community, I'm all ears! If 17 organizations each purchased 10 books, we'd reach our goal. If 9 organizations each purchased 20 books, we'd reach our goal.

It's a great project for our city to take on ... for our schools to take on ... for our churches to take on. Let's get creative!

Three days - 171 books!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bring Farber to Fargo Update

As of 2 p.m. Central today, April 13, we have sold 84 books and are well on our way to bringing Steve Farber to Fargo!

He has offered to waive his regular speaking fee if we can help him get his new book, Greater Than Yourself, on the best-seller lists. Our commitment is 300 books by Friday, April 17!

If you know of any groups or organizations who would like to help us in our quest to bring Steve to the Fargo-Moorhead community, please let me know!

Click HERE to join our campaign and purchase a book (or 10)!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Let's Bring Steve Farber to Fargo!

We're on our way to achieving another HUGE goal here in the Fargo-Moorhead community! First we held back the waters of the mighty Red River after the highest crest in history and we're watching it begin its slow ascent again as the snow begins to melt. The dikes are up and sandbags are in reserve so we're ready!

But our other HUGE goal is to bring author and speaker Steve Farber to our community by purchasing 300 of his newest book Greater Than Yourself by NEXT FRIDAY (April 17)!

Greater Than Yourself is an inspiring parable on the greatest leadership lesson of all - that the best leaders go beyond the tenets of The Golden Rule and help others to be better than they are themselves. You can read more about how Steve is bringing this GTY Project to the world and how you can do that in your own organization at

We began this quest on Monday and this week we've sold 42 books ... we've got quite a feat ahead of us this next week, but I'm confident we can do it!

We filled and placed 3.5 million sandbags in just 8 days, we can certainly purchase 258 books in 7 days!

CLICK HERE to help us with our goal and come and hear Steve Farber in Fargo! Details about Steve's appearance will follow!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

It Really Is a Lavish World!

Here is a video tribute to my friend Barbara McAfee, whose beautiful music inspires me daily!

Thanks, Barbara!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Don't Just Talk ... Transform!

Plans are currently underway for the Third Annual Bigger Small Talk Summit and Genius Workshop right here in beautiful Fargo, North Dakota June 16-17, 2009.

If you're drawn to conversation that is meaningful and leads to higher purpose and bigger results, you won't want to miss this event!

Peter Block reminds us that transformation is more about asking profound questions than seeking practical answers, so this year I'm asking for some compelling questions which will spur thought-provoking action and engaging dialogue.

How FAR would you GO for Bigger Small Talk and an opportunity to talk about - and create action around - matters of importance to you and to the world? Please take this opportunity to submit questions you would like to create dialogue around with other like-minded individuals dedicated to higher awareness and artful action. Please submit your questions here. They will go on the Bigger Small Talk website which will compel you to join us in June!

Here's an idea of what the Bigger Small Talk Summit is all about. This is scheduled for June 16. The Genius Workshop with Dick Richards is June 17 and I'll post more about that in a future post.

My dream is that this event becomes a Little TED on the Prairie. Let's start the dream TODAY!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

United We Sand!

In case you haven't heard the national news over the past two weeks, I'll let you know that my Fargo-Moorhead community has been in the spotlight as we've been battling our Red River which decided to reach the highest level it ever has in history.

In 1997 we were close to the highest level ever, and that's the year that Grand Forks, about 75 miles upstream (the Red River flows north) was devastated and forced to rebuild.

We had 3 weeks' notice to shore up our dikes and get things in place in 1997; we had 8 days this time, but we did it. With amazing help from friends from all over the country who came to help, we filled 3 million sandbags and built dikes and filled HESCO dikes and evacuated people and made meals and in essence, saved the community.

There were some folks who had water in their homes and some that may or may not be able to go back to their homes. But considering that this was the worst flooding we've ever seen in our community, we did pretty well.

There are so many stories to share - one search of YouTube or Google will turn up thousands of entries from all over. But the main story is the power of a community dedicated to helping each other - and to the beauty of strangers coming from all over to help people they don't even know.

I heard a quote sometime during this 2-week whirlwind: "We're our best during the worst circumstances and at our worst during the best circumstances." Although crisis situations do tend to bring out the best in humanity, I'm just not convinced that it has to be that way. We have a great opportunity to prove that we can be our best during the best circumstances as well - and we can learn from so many things that happened during this flood.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how people will choose to bring their best assets and their strengths now as our community faces the cleanup after the amazing folks who helped us in the worst circumstances have returned to their own communities.

My friend Brenda Levos is a very creative graphic designer who has found a way to use her strengths to help the community in recovery mode. She has designed a line of T-shirts, caps, stickers, etc. to commemorate the flood, with proceeds going to Impact GiveBack, a local foundation which will help with the recovery. She shows us a great example of using creativity to give back!

Here is the latest in Lee Hoedl's montage (he's actually done 10 of these chronicling the history). Today is sunny and snow is beginning to melt: this video was produced on Tuesday (2 days ago). Amazing the difference a day can make in this situation! Check out more of Lee's videos on YouTube.