Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Room with a View

Do you ever feel the periodic need to reflect? Yesterday I was sitting on our back deck reading Dan Brown's latest work, The Lost Symbol and felt a 'moment' coming on. In what I'll call my Chamber of Reflection, I started thinking of how much I enjoy the view from my back deck - especially when sitting next to my wife and black lab.  My best moments of thought and reflection have come while enjoying this view.  Yesterday, however, I started wrestling the urge for a better view.  While it may sound ungrateful for what we already have (180 degrees from how I feel, btw), I had to be honest about my feelings.  For the right or for the wrong, I think perhaps I see the view from the back deck as a reflection of my success.  Which leads to my next series of thoughts...perhaps the only view isn't from the deck.

What does a great view mean to you?  How many times have you paid more money for a hotel room with a better view?  A couple years back, Police star Sting, paid just over $26M for arguably the best view in New York (click here). To some, the best view in the world is sitting in a field at a family reunion - looking at family members of four generations.  There was a great view in Branson this week - our nephew took his first steps in the basement of their home (view video here).  Not a bad basement view, huh?? In March, Amy and I were fortunate to have the view below on our honeymoon (USVI St. John).

My big question: Is the view off your back deck the only measuring stick to your success and happiness?  I hope not.  In your repository of memories, which view(s) bring a smile to your face?  What I felt yesterday was appreciation for my current view, but yet a yearning for something even better.  Don't we all have things that drive us to do and want better?  Better for ourselves and our family?  Alright, Alright - yes, I am guilty of wanting a better view from my deck.  But the beautiful thing about reflection is that now I know why I want the view...to better enjoy my memories from the things that really matter.  Family, faith and my contribution(s) to making this world a better place.

Whatever your room, my hope is that you find your measuring stick for happiness and success - along with the tools to help you achieve. Until next time, room service is on me!

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Moments...Ahh, Special Moments

As most of you know, I enjoy posting periodic thoughts to this blog…especially when inspired. As of late, I’ve found myself busier than normal with the daily grind – getting in the way of all the fun stuff, some would say. However, today, I was inspired. I left the office about two hours early, as my “4:30” was about an hour drive. Driving through this small town I stopped at the county courthouse to check out their public library. I’m glad I did. The library was about 15X30 in size, and crammed top to bottom with books. Astonished, I found several modern books (books published in the last five years). I’ve been in a couple libraries in my day…for the good or for the bad…but, this bibliotheca was the quietest room I’ve ever been in. The only thing I could hear was their 1925 clock, ticking away as if it were on a mission to keep perfect time AND the 75 year old gentleman who volunteers at the library would make a slight whistling noise while taking a cherished breath. Those were the only two sounds. So I found a book I could indulge in and plopped down next to him. “Howdy Sir”, he said with a warm smile. I asked him if he was ‘holding down the fort today’, he smiled and “yep, sit down and have a read young man”…of course I obliged.

I found inspiration today from a passage in the book I picked up, The Fred Factor, the passage was by Winston Churchill. He said, “There comes a special moment in everyone’s life, a moment for which that person was born. That special opportunity, when he seizes it, will fulfill his mission – a mission for which he is uniquely qualified. In that moment, he finds greatness. It is his finest hour.” As I thought about those words, I jogged back to my college golfing days. Through the game of golf I’ve learned so much, so much about life, love (some politics) and other mysteries…haha…but I couldn’t shake one thought…a thought about competition. In a world filled with competition, I’m convinced we mostly compete with one thing and usually one thing only…and that’s our own potential. For when we compete against our best – best days, best moments, best self…we come closer to preparing ourselves for that moment Winston Churchill spoke of…the moment we fulfill our mission for which we are uniquely qualified.

My wish is to continue fighting the good fight – and that’s the fight with my potential. If we’re winners, I’m thinking we’ll one up Mr. Churchill’s statement and have many, not just one special moment. So...for all those with a glass…HERE-HERE….to special moments!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Better than yesterday...

Today was a great day. Not because I did something earth shattering, but because I did a series of things that might possibly lead to something great. Do you ever have those days where you feel like you're in the "flow"? David Allen, author of Getting Things Done coined the phrase - the flow of productivity. As I reflect on my day, I'm reminded of how great it feels to be productive. Productive with the things in life that produce results - the results that ultimately lead to reaching goals. You might ask, what was different about today than yesterday? I made my to-do list, prepared for my appointments and as a result, experienced success. Focusing on my tasks AND keeping the big-picture in mind...what a combination. Can you pursue your purpose AND profit, embrace your fixed values AND necessary change, how about remaining visionary AND executing the details well? That's what I'm striving for Willis. Learning from experiences and building on those experiences day after day. Tiger Woods has a famous saying about Tomorrow, "My goal tomorrow is to be better than I was today...a better golfer, better husband, better father and a better human being." I think it's possible. Will it take work? Absolutely. Will I wake up in the morning and feel like only giving 80 percent? Maybe. Will I find a way to be better tomorrow? Yes.

The task of being better tomorrow might feel daunting. It does to me. I'm strengthened by the feeling I have right now...being productive with the right things, keeping the big-picture in mind AND enjoying every minute of it. My hope is that you have this feeling on a regular basis...as for me, I'm in!!! Until next time, may your today be better than yesterday and your tomorrow better than today...take a moment and share your today with someone you love.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Come one, Come all...It's StoryTime!!

Story \'stOr-ee\ 1. an account of incidents or events

I believe stories can affect how we see ourselves AND how others see us. You might be asking, JP...what in the world does that mean?? C'mon, step inside...

Did you ever think stories could be the vehicle that provides structure and direction as we navigate life's challenges and opportunities? Consider this: Stories make sense of our chaos. The beautiful thing about this style of communication is its dual utility. Make your personal AND professional events come to life. Have you ever tried selling something by telling a story?? A great leader once told me, "it's through storytelling where you REALLY connect with your audience." Whether we are selling a product, an idea, or better yet OURSELVES...try telling a well-crafted story. Allow the listener to place themselves into your world. That's the type of connection you're looking for.

If you feel like the dots aren't connecting - with your family, clients, prospects or an audience; Master the art of storytelling. It can make life more interesting, engaging and perhaps more profitable.

Are your storytelling skills a little weak?? Meet Doug Stevenson. I leave you with the Quote of the Day...but until next time, may that fish you caught 10 years ago continue to get fertilized...

Bronwyn Fryer, the senior editor at Harvard Business Review states, “There are two ways to persuade people. The first is by using conventional rhetoric, which is what most executives are trained in. That’s not good enough, because people are not inspired to act by reason alone. The other way to persuade people – and ultimately a much more powerful way – is by uniting an idea with an emotion. The best way to do that is by telling a compelling story.”

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Live Your Life

Last weekend, my wife's grandmother went on to receive her eternal reward. As our family went through each day, as just that - a family, I couldn't help but feel a deep sense of unity. A unity glued together by a genuine love for one another. For that, I'm so grateful.

This week we saw the circle of life. Standing graveside, paying our last respects to a loved one, all the while having my three month old buddy/nephew (B-Squared) stare at me from his pumpkin seat - wide awake and without a sound. Truly amazing. As we said goodbye to a great-grandmother, grandmother and mother - I was reminded of just how precious life really is...for all of us. A reminder that we should plan as though we'll live to be 100, but yet live every moment of everyday like it's our last.

As we exited the burial ground, I noticed the last tomb on the right - it read, "Live Your Life". We ALL will leave a legacy. I just wonder, are you living your life with passion and purpose? Until next time...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Surprise...April Fool's!!

Admit it. You fell prey to one of the oldest tricks in the book today, didn't you?? If you did, you're in good company. My team plotted and executed one of the best pranks of All-Time today...All-Time (test drive it in your roughest Warner Wolf voice).

Ok, so you got played worse than a U.S. Open golf course today, don't fret. I'm beginning to wonder if being the beneficiary of a well-planned April Fool's joke means something. Something good, actually. My team left me high and dry at the office this AM - each person chronologically sending messages (starting at 7:10) with believable reasons to be absent. An hour and a half later, my worst nightmare had come true - flying solo in Suite 2 at 1215 S. Sam Houston Blvd! After 15 minutes of dampening the armpits of my shirt, I heard the backdoor open. Flying around the corner (thinking I didn't get the door shut while in distress) only to find four ladies laughing themselves into a sidestitch.

Emerging through the numerous emotions from the prank came my resolution; maybe if you're on the receiving end of an April Fool's joke, someone cares for you. That being said, come April 1st, 2010 - BEWARE. It's fair to say I'll be delivering a shock like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM. All in the name of love...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Have you considered a Goal, lately??

"Goals provide the energy source that powers our lives. One of the best ways to get the most from our energy is to focus it. That is what goals can do for us: concentrate our energy." - Denis Waitley

What's important to you in life?? Have you considered setting a goal for what you want to achieve? Have you gone through a goal-setting exercise for what you want to accomplish in five years? How about this year? Heck, how about this month or even TODAY??

Yesterday I had the privilege of achieving a six month goal. Reaching this particular goal was a nice stretch for our team - making the accomplishment all the more satisfying. Today, as I reflect over the last six months I'm finding myself extremely proud of our team for their hard work, sacrifice and collective focus. Overstating my gratefulness is impossible.

I hope you get a regular feeling of accomplishment with your goals. Want to feel six feet tall and bulletproof?? Go accomplish a goal today. As for me, don't look or call this afternoon, I'm en route to whip the French Army with a wiffleball bat...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Online Shopaholic Anonymous

Mayday, Mayday, Mayday...someone please help...I can't quit hitting the Order Now button! While I bemoan the habit, I did order a few bare essentials over the net this weekend - ever heard of P90X?? I'm in the process of getting my mind right on the fitness front and after a lot of research; I hit the Order Now button on the P90X program yesterday.

But wait, there's more.

Those of you who know me, are well aware of my affinity for the written word. For MONTHS I've been dreaming of a digital eReader...the YTD debate...Amazon's Kindle2 vs Sony's PRS-700. My sweat glands have been in overdrive trying to make the right decision. If I've read one online review, I've read 200. After much deliberation (and the wife saying, would you just pick one already??), I hit the Order Now button this AM on the Sony PRS-700! A brother from a different mother informed me of a nice little Sony $50 rebate - talk about 86ing any buyers remorse...I'll keep you updated on the purchase.

Until then, have an Order Confirmation on me.