Life Lessons

Spending Time With Incredible People

By Life Lessons, Motivational, My Writings One Comment

The other day, I was talking to a friend of mine who was drained. It seemed that all of the people in her life were requiring more energy than what she had to give. It was sucking her energy dry.

She told me that she needed to make a change. She needed to limit her time with the energy-suckers and spend more time with energy-givers.

But she felt guilty.

Guilty that she was letting her friends down. Guilty for not 'being there'.

It occured to me that there are a lot of people that, quite frankly, don't want the help. They just need for other to feel their pain.

They don't want to change. They don't want to solve their delimma. They just need other people's energy.

My theme for 2011 is to have "incredible experiences with incredible people". This allows me to make an easy choice.

Is the person I'm speaking with an incredible person? 

Do they take, and keep taking, or do they give back? Are they committed to growing as a person and contributing to the betterment of society? Are they self-serving, or do they understand the power of being of service to others?

All of us have the capacity to be incredible, but not everyone decides to be.

I decided that I don't have the energy to give it to people who don't give back (this is different than people who "cannot" give back). And this gives me a clear answer with no guilt. Personally, I want to spend my time with people who want to press forward instead of living in the past. I want to spend my time with incredible people.



The Power of Now

By Books & Learning, Life Lessons One Comment


Cover of Cover via Amazon

I was turned on to Eckart Tolle by friend and big-thinker, Dmitry Shapiro.

I read The Power of Now twice now because it’s truly an incredible look at the mind, and how we might calm the thoughts in order to truly live in the moment. Personally, it has helped me in my relationships and running my company. It allows me to stay focused on what “is”, instead of what’s continually running through my head. If you get a chance, I recommend it.

I gave the book to a friend a while back. She recently wrote me this email back. It’s a good testament of how it’s helped her, so she agreed to let me post her email here.

“Hi there,

I know you’re busy, but I just wanted to send you a quick note.

I have made it almost through the entire “Power of Now” book and wish so much that I would have been less stubborn and read this things years ago when you started to. Heck, if I’m wishing…I wish I would have read this when I started to read! It might have actually altered the path of my entire life, let alone our current situation, in a good way.

None the less, as skeptical of it as I was at the start, I cant put it down. It’s describing me and my thoughts so perfectly that I’m finding myself underlining every sentence in the entire book. I never realized before just how damaging my thought behaviors have been. I can honestly say that they have single handedly caused me so much pain, unhappiness, and fear throughout my entire life.

I’ve always known that I’ve had the power to control my thoughts, but never have I learned HOW. It’s so enlightening to understand that your mind is the key to true happiness, but also the culprit to extreme unhappiness and borderline insanity. I’ve experienced so much unhappiness by my thoughts, that at times they’ve absolutely consumed me. And now, having a better understanding of how to silence it and alter the dysfunctional patterns that it has automatically ran on, is so freeing and peaceful!!!

I’m not quite finished with it yet, but so-far the last couple weeks have been a real eye opener as far as how I’ve lived my life and how poisonous my mind has actually been during it. I’m a person that lives in the past and it’s such an obvious, yet difficult thing to condition your mind not to live there. Especially when it no longer exists. Watching my thoughts and letting go of the judgments, constant analyzing, and fear they inflict has been liberating. I understand now! I understand just how much this book changed your life. I understand it, because it’s changing mine…little by little. =)

I just wanted to tell you thank you! Thank you for being so persistent in encouraging me to read it and thank you for giving it to me. It may just be the most important and greatest gift anyone has ever given me. Jeez! I sound like a ridiculous advertisement to get people to read this thing. Part of it could be due to the fact that I Just got back from the most amazing yoga practice, and I think I’m turning into a spiritual freak! It’s partially your fault….and I love it!

Just thought I’d share. I may sound like a weirdo, but I don’t f*cking care anymore. I AM A WEIRDO!!!!

Hope you have a fantastic rest of the week.

Design You Life. Find the Flow.

By At Work, Business Philosophy, Life Lessons, Motivational, My Writings 3 Comments

I wrote this on a napkin in Amsterdam last week while contemplating:


Say 'yes' more often.

Yes to Life. 

Challenge your barriers.

Live outside your comfort zone.

Seek out novel experiences.

Make people's day. Bring them into your world.

Remember that you have a path – a natural flow.

Find it. Design it. Drive it.

Yet, design in time to float.

To explore.

To be, without trying.

To surrender without wanting.

To breathe without thinking.


Plant before your Harvest.

By At Work, Business Philosophy, Entrepreneur Insights, Life Lessons No Comments

Our VP of Core Operations, Chris Waldron, sent an email out to the team last week where he quoted the legendary comedian, Steve Martin. I think it chronicles why one of our company core values is Perseverence. On rare occassions, the race is won by the person with first mover advantage. But more likely, it goes to those that keep running.

“I did stand-up comedy for eighteen years.  Ten of those years were spent learning, four years were spent refining, and four were spent in wild success.” 

Steve Martin in Sweden promoting Image via Wikipedia

Chris' interpretaion:

"If you do the math, that was 14 years before he saw any success.  That is a long time to remain focused on one goal.  The ability to not become distracted or work on unrelated/unimportant projects is impressive. We are wrapping up a chapter in each of our lives.  You only have one September 2010.  A part of your life story includes your time at TakeLessons and your impact on the company.  I hope it was a good one for you.  My hope is that you stretched yourself as a person, professionally and personally this month.
TakeLessons is also finishing its Q3-2010 chapter and each of you plays an integral part in the monthly metrics.  We have a chance for greatness.  Without your input, the story is not complete.  Finish this month and quarter strong.  Remind yourself that good enough isn’t good enough around here.
The ability to hit our goals would not have happened if it were not for each department doing their part and hitting their target each week, month, quarter and year.  I know it is tough some times to see how your words, actions and work really make any difference.  But it does.  Challenge yourself this week to work on the right things, build things you are proud of and to finish strong.  We are close to hitting our numbers but every ounce of effort will be the difference."

My interpretaion: There is a simple rule of life that I've never found a way around – and that is you must plant seeds and work the field before you're able to harvest. It takes a long time to "build stuff you're proud of", but I am learning that the ride is actually more fun than the destination. It's also really cool to see my fellow team members encouraging the rest of the team. This is a sign of a culture that has the ability to allow leaders to grow.

So, the takeaway? Get the short-term quick-hit out of your mind and prepare to keep running.