Are you Conscious and Competent? Or are You Creative?

I've been working out with a great trainer lately. He's determined to help this old crone get strong -- really strong. It's frustrating, exciting and fun.  Frustrating when I can't do what he asks. Exciting when I start to get the form. And serious fun when I can see how much better and stronger I'm getting. My excellent trainer at Crunch, Leonel Dias, introduced me to the Conscious Competence Learning Model. Conscious Competence Learning Model It goes like … [Read more...]

Does it Pay to Be a Snitch?

I was breathing easy about Clemetin. His life was going smoothly. He hadn't been stopped by the cops in quite a while. Perhaps as a result of the change in the stop and frisk policies adopted by the city some months ago. And he's been very proud that he has stopped shoplifting -- something that for Clemetin has been a way of life since he was a child. But then, one day went by and then another without a word from him. I didn't think much about it until the phone rang … [Read more...]

Are You a Scatterbrain?

The other day I read a blog post written by someone I know and respect and like. The post was titled, Scatterbrained People Can Succeed in Major Gifts. It was about how people who can't stay organized... people whose thinking is not linear, can still be successful if they're managed well. While I understand my friend's point, the word "scatterbrained" stuck in my craw. It's just so negative and implies that people whose thinking is nonlinear are somehow less … [Read more...]

Slogger or Sprinter: What’s Your Work Style?

Have you ever castigated yourself for being inconsistent? Perhaps you, like me, can't sustain a process easily. You work for a while and then go fritter away some time. Then, later (sometimes a lot later) you come back to the task again. I've often criticized myself for not being able to stay focused on a task from beginning to end. And really, sometimes I'm extreme. If I'm writing something, after 15 minutes, when I get stuck, I sometimes go lie down! Recently, … [Read more...]

Are You a Member of the “Me Generation?”

I have joined the “ME generation.” I know that phrase is generally used to describe so-called Millennials — people now in their 20’s.  Samantha Raphelson, in her piece for the NPR New Boom series, cited them as “self-absorbed, self-centered, selfie-snapping-20-somethings.” Today’s 20-somethings are just stepping into adulthood. They may not have steady jobs. They sometimes seem uncaring in their independent and individualistic ways.  Many of them don’t have families to … [Read more...]

Life’s Third Third

I've reached a milestone. Today is my seventieth birthday. I'm in the midst of what some people have called the "third third" of life. For me, this third third is the very best! The stresses and strains of growing up are over. The challenges of building lasting relationships have eased. The anxiety and responsibilities that come with raising children have receded. And, most wonderfully, the need to prove yourself mostly evaporates. In this third third, it's easier to be … [Read more...]

Let a Breeze Blow Through Your House

Do you take your emotions seriously? Do they grab you and toss you around? Do you sometimes feel like you are being manipulated by a great emotion-puppeteer who pulls your strings? Strong emotions have an immediacy and power that are hard to ignore. And compounding their power is the related (and peculiar) memory impairment they cause. Emotions are like the wind When you’re feeling bereft, it’s almost impossible to remember that the hour or the day or the week … [Read more...]

Open Yourself Up to Learning New Ideas – Like Time Quilting

I'm taking Chris Brogan's course on creating courses. And when I watched the video in the first installment, he introduced a concept called "Time Quilting." Time Quilting is the idea of using bits and pieces of time productively and then "quilting" them together into a big, beautiful product. Years ago, a businessman I was interviewing told me that he thought of using time in the same way he packed his suitcase. He put in the big garments first and then tucked in the … [Read more...]

What Does it Mean to Have Limited Opportunities?

I've been enjoying Seth Godin's new book, What to do When It's Your Turn (and it's always your turn). It's a beautiful book. Fantastic images. Elegantly laid out. And it has one of those covers you just like to touch. One image in the book jumped out at me. It shows a wonderful photo of 29 physicists who in 1927 gathered at the Solvay Conference in Brussels. The photo includes many of the most remarkable physicists of their time... in fact... of all time. People like … [Read more...]

6 Years of Freedom and 3 Valuable Lessons

Next month, my friend Clemetin will celebrate six full years of being out of prison. According to the statistics of the Bureau of Justice, three-quarters of all of the people released from prison get rearrested within five years. And indeed, Clemetin has been rearrested. Not once, but several times. He's been arrested for trumped up drug charges he wasn't guilty of, and he's been arrested for shoplifting, which he did. He's never ended up back in prison, but he gets picked … [Read more...]