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What Would You Die For? | Brad McLain

What Would You Die For? | Brad McLain

 

This talk looks at the nature and impact of extraordinary experiences, especially how such experiences may change our sense of self or identity.

 

Brad is a social science research professor at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Center for STEM Learning and is co-director of The Experiential Science Education Research Collaborative. Dr. McLain is an accomplished filmmaker originally from Norfolk, Nebraska, and he attended the University of Nebraska Lincoln for part of his undergraduate education. He is a member of the board of directors for the JGI, Jane Goodall institute.

Be Persistent, Be Present, & Use Your Gift | Chef Otto

Be Persistent, Be Present, & Use Your Gift. | Chef Otto

 

 

Chef Otto is an accomplished chef whose impressive career includes world class establishments such as the Bellagio Hotel, Charlie Trotters, the Atlantis and Mardan Palace, and, most notable, the Culinary Institute of America. He started his career by volunteering as a cook in the United States Navy Submarine Force, feeding men stationed on the USS Patrick Henry in Pearl Harbor. Since then, he has cooked around the globe for Kings, Queens, Moguls, Titans, Rockstars, and World Class Athletes, yet one of his biggest thrills remains catering his 25th high school reunion. Chef Otto is an International Culinary Ambassador who finds that travel, adventure and spreading the gospel of all things food is the marrow of his soul. His passion to help feed the hungry sparked him to initiate Childhood Hunger Day in Washington, D.C. where he organized a 3-day symposium on hunger and poverty legislation on Capitol Hill. His role as a contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef provides notoriety defining his status as a champion against hunger. With hair too high for a ten gallon hat and yet to buy his first pair of cowboy boots, Chef Otto is now digging his heels in the Lone Star landscape as an adopted son. Taste the Freedom!

Living Life Inside Out: Eliza Williams

Living Life Inside Out: Eliza Williams

 

 

Teaching moments from the Winter Olympics by Hank Berkowitz

Teaching moments from the Winter Olympics by Hank Berkowitz 

2014 team canada hockey captain

Like many of us, you probably can’t tell the difference between a Double Lutz and a Triple Toe Loop. But, I’m sure you can tell the difference between a great team effort and a great team meltdown as the American men’s and women’s Olympic hockey teams demonstrated so painfully this weekend in Sochi, Russia. 
Granted, both teams lost to superior opponents. But, the way they went down in defeat was UNACCEPTABLE. As men’s team captain Zach Parise admitted: “We got outplayed. We didn’t deserve to win. I’m kind of embarrassed where we’re at now.” Zach, so are we.

If you have young people working for you, or if you’re the parent (or grandparent) of young athletes, please make sure they understand that “USA” stands for the United States of America—not “Uninspired Sports Association.” 

Lesson No. 1

Let’s start with the women. With four minutes left in the gold medal game against Canada, they had a comfortable 2-0 lead which they worked very hard to earn. But, instead of staying focused till the final buzzer and running down the clock, they started thinking about how they’d look on the podium with gold medals around their necks and a worldwide audience watching them sing the Star Spangled Banner with tears in their eyes. A dumb penalty here, a bad bounce there. Next thing you know, the indefatigable Canadians tied up the game in regulation and scored again eight minutes into the overtime period to claim the top spot on the tear-filled medal podium. 

Lesson: No matter how strong, skilled and experienced your competitors, when you have them on the ropes, you don’t ever let up. Don’t let them into your market when you’ve worked so hard to carve out your niche. Don’t ever let them steal your best clients or employees, and don’t ever think you’ve got the Big Market, Big Contract or Big Client locked up until the ink has truly dried on the contract. 

 

Lesson No. 2

Now, on to the men. Unlike the women, the men’s team is composed of highly paid NHL professionals. They lost a tense 1-0 semifinal game on Friday to the eventual champions, Canada. But, instead of showing some pride in the bronze medal game against Finland, they’d played like an amateur team that had already packed its gear and checked out of Sochi. Their uninspired 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the highly motivated Finns sent the U.S. hockey program home medal-less and back to the proverbial drawing board. 

Lesson: You’re never as good or as talented as you think you are and you never underestimate or disrespect your competition. You’re not always going to land the Big Contract, Big Client or Big Speaking Gig that you worked so hard to get. But, when the next opportunity comes around, you can’t waste time lamenting “the one that got away;“ you have to be ready to land the next one.



Conclusion



Congrats to Finland and Canada (twice) for winning with class and for putting their big contracts and Stanley Cup aspirations on hold to represent their countries with pride. That’s what the Olympics is all about.

Possibilities—Life’s Invisible Feast: Sarah Susanka

Possibilities—Life’s Invisible Feast: Sarah Susanka

 

sarah susanka

 

Sarah Susanka’s “Not So Big” message has become a launch pad for a new dimension of understanding how we inhabit our homes, our planet and our lives. A thought leader and acclaimed architect, Susanka is the best-selling author of nine books that collectively weave together home and life design, revealing that a “Not So Big” attitude serves not only architectural aims, but life goals as well. Her books have sold well over one million copies.

Architect Sarah Susanka asks us to re:THINK life’s possibilities — and in doing so, opens us up to a potential feast In every moment. 

 

We are often encouraged to follow our passion…our heart. But sometimes either that passion isn’t clear, or the path toward it is obscured. Susanka reassures us that by simply being present to your bliss — in every possible moment — you’re more likely to encounter that singular passion in your life. Just be present and completely engaged in whatever you’re doing, and the banquet will unfold. A key is to look beyond the “filters” that we’ve all become accustomed to and accepting of. 

 

Here she teaches us that beyond those filters lie powerful life lessons in simple moments — if we are present to them. And if we are, “Life becomes a playground for your own growth.” 

 

 

Needs: What’s Real & What’s Aspirational by Dr. Bill DeMarco

Dr. Bill DeMarco

Values, History and Folklore, are the core elements of culture at a point in time.  They are our link to our personal past…handed down to us by all those who came before us. This is true of our ethnic culture, our tribal culture, our national culture, our religious culture, and our personal culture, to name just a few.   Since we are the link to our past, we are caretakers of something precious as we hand it down to future generations.  Since culture is a living thing, it does change over time, but ever so slowly.  Just think about it; there is some behavioral mannerism, belief, perception that you got from an ancestor who lived a hundred or many hundreds of years ago.  To use a modern expression, “You are Connected”.  There really is nothing new under the sun, other than our choice of what we will do with our cultural inheritance.  Since culture is a living phenomenon, we will make our choices and then pass the culture on to future generations, along with our contributions.  That is the way it is and that is the way it will continue to be.

Image 1: DeMarco Culture Model

© 2003 Dr. Bill DeMarco

All of this gets us back to our discussion of Values.   I described Values as “the unique blend of perceived NeedsBeliefs, and Attitudes that live in the behaviour of most members of a society”.   Needs are one of three segments of the Values element of my Culture Model (Image 1).  Needs, along with Beliefs and Attitudes, taken separately and in their interaction, make up our unique Values proposition.

Within a cultural context, Needs are similar to what Abraham Maslow (Image 2) describes as the fundamental requirements for survival, safety and belonging. They have everything to do with the necessities of the human condition, and nothing to do with a luxury car in the garage, a kitchen with granite counter tops, and two weeks in Saint Kitts! The latter, at the extreme end, has more to do with our image of “Esteem”.

 

 

Image 2: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

 

 

Maslow’s work linked Needs to motivation.  While his groundbreaking work is still challenged by some, I find his conclusions compelling.  Satisfying individual and group needs at the three basic levels in the above image greatly facilitates our ability to incorporate our Beliefs into our Values system. Remember I wrote earlier that if we want to know what our real values are, look at our behaviour and not our words.  There is a strong link between our ability to survive and our ability to put our Beliefs into action.

 

Here is a simple exercise that can help identify our real personal needs. It involves reading and reflecting on the bottom three categories of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Image 2).  Then make a list of what those Needs look like in your life.  Put that under a category labeled “Needs”.  Everything else that comes to mind, put under a category labeled “Wants”.  There is nothing wrong with “Wants”…Just don’t confuse the two!

 

Meaningful reflections!

 

Dr. Bill DeMarco

 

‘The Ripple Effect’ presented by Dr. Kevin Snyder

‘The Ripple Effect’ presented by Dr. Kevin Snyder

 

What one thing would you do if you knew that you could not fail?

Greatness loves the relentless – Robin Sharma

Don’t try to overhaul your life overnight