The suspense is terrible… I hope it’ll last.

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014

It would be so nice to be the person who “makes it look easy?”  The one who never sweats because problems are the “small stuff”? We want to survive, therefore we work to secure income to live.  We care for our children, we tend to our families and we devote time to our work.  There is very little extra time in the day to devote to creativity or finding a new path … we succumb to life’s pressures. Pressure is the stress created in our minds and bodies when we are confronted with a situation that requires action or response and there is none.  The absence of a response or solution when faced with adversity can cause a total mental meltdown: panic caused by the lack of prior solutions to solve the immediate dilemma or fear that we do not have the skills to address the situation with the requisite speed.  It is at that moment where we need the ability to find a solution through creativity. We would have no pressure if every day was the same as yesterday and foretold the events of tomorrow.  We would simply go through life like a goldfish — swimming from day to day repeating each behavior over again and again assuring our survival until the script runs out.  But we have pressure and we must always be ready to solve the mystery that the next minute holds.  We must learn to adapt and create solutions to problems as they arise.  Creativity is not a natural process. Creativity takes time. It is a function of patience and a summoning of all that we know to find a new way of doing something old, or a way of doing something different in our lives.  For most of us it is a forced process.  We need something to motivate us to be new and different.  We need something to knock down the walls of consistency and normality. We are creative when it comes to things like talking our children through school troubles.  We use our ability to find solutions when we are confronted with tasks that threaten our existence, but when it comes to improving our lives or creating a better tomorrow, we seem to draw a blank.  We simply move into a place of comfort.  We shut down and trap ourselves in the proverbial box.  It is much easier than allowing ourselves to feel the pressure that comes with the new. In the movie, Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Gene Wilder, as Willie Wonka says,  “A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.” I love the above quote.  Nonsense is the seed from which thinking blossoms.  It is not only a great tool to call what we know in to question – if we allow it to do so – but it is also the start of a new vision.  Flip...

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With each bend in the road, enjoy the journey.

Posted by on Jan 24, 2014

Sometimes life takes twists and turns.  Sometimes it just bends out of shape due to forces that are not within our control. When we look at people who have achieved fame, we sometimes marvel at the way they seem to climb the ladder with ease.  We forget, or never see the obstacles in their lives or what they did to overcome.  (Okay, wait, I am not talking about the problem children in the tabloids, I am talking about the good people.) When we get to know someone who has reached for the stars and succeeded,   we have the opportunity to appreciate their humanity.  Thus, that is when the super-human becomes human.  Then, and only then, can we appreciate the individual and not just the star status.  When we are able to see someone as being “just like us,” then we understand their real journey; we see them as dwelling alongside each of us as inhabitants on this third planet from the sun.  Once what was famous deescalates to real, we can see his/her incredible ability to endure and fight on against life’s obstacles. We return now to the beginning of the cycle: the star is – once again – super human. But, this time, veneration and blind reverence are replaced with healthy respect and admiration.. In the past few years, I have come to appreciate one such person in ways I could not – even during my most intuitive moment – have predicted.  That man is Uri Geller. People who meet with me in my office have the opportunity to see the bent sterling silver spoon from the Savoy Hotel hanging on the wall behind me.  It is framed with an 8×10 glossy of Uri wearing his trademark smile. Clients invariably ask: Is that Uri Geller the Spoon Bender? He is readily recognized for a single ability that captured the world; he magically bends spoons.  I can assure you he is responsible for so much more.  His controversial and stellar career virtually made the phrase “psychic ability” and “mind power” household terms.  He is a loving husband, and is the father of two successful children who share their father’s charm and intellect.  He is an entertainer and motivational speaker of the highest order.  He achieved rock star status by challenging society’s definition of possible. Is Uri superhuman?  I would say, no. Is he someone who has pushed the boundaries of what is means to be human? Absolutely. He is driven to succeed in ways many of us can only imagine.  He forged a path for himself that had never been travelled in this world.  He knew where he was going and he remained true to his course.  For the one singular “power” of absolute focus and direction, Uri Geller is an inspiration and a personality worthy of appreciation. With respect, I am proud to call Uri Geller a friend....

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What a clear night.

Posted by on Dec 28, 2013

Unfortunately, the 24 hours in a day are never enough to get done all that I hope to do.  Then, when I am thoroughly exhausted, I pause to catch my breath.   In that moment of calm, I always think of something I forgot to appreciate in my daily whirlwind of activity. Tonight is was the stars.  The thought that I had was simple.  The stars in Orions belt mark the northern night sky when the sun is at its lowest point.  They are among the easiest stars to identify, and for some odd reason, they are part of my favorite constellation, Orion the Hunter.  The belt has been used for thousands of years as a distinct and clear marker for ancient timekeeping. But someday, probably not in our lifetime, the three stars in his belt will die and Orion will cease to be the exact constellation we see today.  When stars die, I think I remember that it is the helium that burns up and iron forms.  The core cools and that is where the black and white dwarfs come in.  The black dwarf results when the star is of smaller mass and it collapses in on itself.  The white dwarf is when the star explodes into a super nova. Either way, the star goes away.  And no, I am not really sure of any of this detail.  I am tired and thinking about things I once knew and possibly still remember in my subconscious. Right or wrong, I am writing this blog to make a point and cannot allow fact to interfere with my midnight philosophical rant.  Oh yes, I was going somewhere with this…  I need a moment to remember…. Oh yeah, I know.  The stars will not always be as they are now.  Things in life change; whether that is in our lifetime or within the lifetime of the universe.    Tomorrow will be different that today, and the next will be different than tomorrow. What have you failed to appreciate today that may change...

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Try Nailing Jell-o® to a Tree

Posted by on Nov 11, 2013

We all work hard, but what are we working hard at doing? The old adage that we may win a battle but still lose the war applies to all we do. When a motivational speaker tells his audience that everything is possible, I wonder if the speaker ever tried to nail Jell-o® to a tree?  Some tasks are worth committing to because they advance our goals, some are NOT worth doing because they have no reasonable connection to our goals.  In other words, it’s the end game that’s  important.  Our greatest problem is the ones we create ourselves. The ones we foolishly believe we must attain!  In truth, they are unrelated to everything our goal requires. Let’s say you hold a clump of jiggly red Jell-o® against a tree and push a long gutter nail through the gelatinous mass. Then you tap a hammer gently and remove the hand bracing — the Jell-o® will remain attached to the tree.  Well, it will remain until the weight of the Jell-o® pulls itself through the nail and falls to the ground. Let’s pretend for a moment YOU are that Jell-o®.  If those few, fleeting moments of success could be suspended long enough to allow you to appreciate the accomplishment.  You would simply enjoy and appreciate the fruits of your labor.  But, if while watching the Jell-o® dangle from the tree, you might have considered the question: Why did I waste my time trying, and what the heck was I thinking when I took the time to figure out the method? Actually, the time and method are a function of When and How.  You can address these questions by analyzing the time you spent arriving at the means of accomplishing your feat. You can delude yourself into a feeling of comfort by knowing you solved the problem.  The question that is missing is Why? Why do we do some of the things we do?  How much time do we take to consider whether the time spent on a task is worth the effort?  We need to step back on a regular basis to consider our purpose.  To face it.  We have all clicked on internet links with the goal of trying to learn something new.  Maybe we started by looking up a new way of finger picking a song on our guitar or selected a primer in order to fix a minor leak under the sink. But then, four hours later, we get a low battery warning while watching a YouTube video of a tourist getting chased by a kangaroo at a drive-through wildlife park.   At that moment, we usually pause and realize the time we spent was wasted. Unfortunately, between the plumbing and the kangaroo, there was a vast wasteland of time we cannot explain nor get back.  Many of our days are lost in the outback of our lives yet...

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Herman knows what he wants, and he has the tools to get it.

Posted by on Oct 8, 2013

In the Art of War, Sun Tzu wrote: “The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.” I sit here watching a master of patience practice his craft. The sun is new in the sky, and the waters of the Assawoman Bay calmly roll in to reach morning high tide in our lagoon. Herman is standing calmly yet focused on his morning ritual. I am fairly sure that Herman never read Sun Tzu, but he clearly and instinctively understands the value of patience as the best way to achieve his goal. I am not even sure he is named Herman; I just know that is the moniker that was attached to him by Nick, my neighbor. Herman is a Blue Herron that lives in our marina. The neighbors share tales of Herman’s legend. “There was this one time he caught a four foot snake and swallowed it whole.” “Another egret tried to move into our cove and Herman got all vicious and chased him out.” The neighbors watch Herman with the regularity of a bayside reality show. And I would note that Herman is not only a supreme hunter, but he is the only regular resident who has escaped the Home Owner Association dues. Back to my point. Herman is standing on the cross beam of a broken dock at the wooded side of the cove. He is unfazed by the momma duck and her two children that swim by. He certainly could care less that I am watching him as I type into my iPad. He only knows that the morning sun has illuminated enough of the shallows to give him visibility. He can, I assume, see about a foot below the surface of the water. His shadow is long on the pier behind him. It is still. His shadow does not betray his position to the prey beneath. The fish swim past unaware that their numbers will diminish by one. Their fate is in the hands of Herman’s desire for nourishment. He alone will decide the moment of attack. “That one is to far left, that one is too deep. When one of adequate size swims in my zone, I will eat,” Herman resolves without movement. He waits. He knows his plan. He has tested his skill before. He concentrates. He waits. The seagull flying close to him is not a distraction. The gentle ripples in the water’s surface do not seem to matter. His sights are set. He waits. I wait. A sip of coffee. The gentle smell of salt air. A moment to myself. Suddenly, without warning… With lightning speed, he plunges his long slender beak into the water and retracts. He comes up empty. He flies to the other side of the lagoon, and lights on a neighbor’s dock. He...

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