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Living Life Inside Out: Eliza Williams

Living Life Inside Out: Eliza Williams

 

 

David Brooks: Should you live for your résumé … or your eulogy?

David Brooks: Should you live for your résumé … or your eulogy?

 

Within each of us are two selves, suggests David Brooks in this meditative short talk: the self who craves success, who builds a résumé, and the self who seeks connection, community, love — the values that make for a great eulogy. Can we balance these two selves? Perhaps, once we know them both. 

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.

Bill Nye, Science Guy, Dispels Poverty Myths

Bill Nye, Science Guy, Dispels Poverty Myths

 

Bill Nye dispels myths about poverty, health, and foreign aid. 

BELIEFS: They Choose Me and I Choose Them by Dr.Bill DeMarco

BELIEFS: They Choose Me and I Choose Them by Dr.Bill DeMarco

 

dr-bill-demarco3

Beliefs are one of three segments of the Values element of my Culture Model. Beliefs, along with Needs and Attitudes, taken separately and in their interaction, make up our unique Values proposition.  Beliefs are ideas viewed as being true by most members of a society. This applies to personal, societal, and organizational cultures alike.

 Our Beliefs come from two sources.  In some inexplicable way, they are partly given to us by everything and everyone that came before us and partly developed through our life experiences. In this sense, they both choose us and we choose them. Our core or fundamental beliefs are the inexplicable kind. Our life experiences commingle with our core beliefs throughout our lives constantly calling out for reappraisal/ revalidation/ (re)commitment.

 

At a fundamental level, we are in search of truths about the meaning of life, love, and happiness.  It is what Jefferson described in the U.S. Declaration of Independence as “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.  Since our beliefs represent our understanding of the meaning of truth in important aspects of our lives, they are most often refined but rarely significantly changed.

 

beliefs

 

From a cultural standpoint, the important thing to remember is that Beliefs are ideas viewed by individuals/most members of a society as being true.  While constantly subject to reappraisal/revalidation/(re)commitment, Beliefs  frequently act as cultural hot spots when challenged. To a large extent, this explains the reason for the personal and societal conflict between traditional religious and secular beliefs, both belief systems capable of profoundest impact.  The former calls for personal sacrifice in support of a higher calling. The latter debunks sacrifice and supports a notion of personal gratification here and now.

 

This plays itself out in the business world as well. A business world corollary has always been the company-specific belief system informally described as “how things are done around here”.  It defines what is important, what it takes to get ahead, what it takes to continue to be employed.  For many employees today, personal core beliefs about the meaning of life and happiness are being challenged, leading to what I call cultural decision-making “moments of truth”.

 

 Two metaphors at polar opposites of the Belief spectrum:

 

1. Supremacy of Scientific Knowledge!

Image number one is a metaphor for a belief system that says that there is truth only in scientific knowledge.  It likely supports a bottom-line first business culture.

 

2. Supremacy of a Supreme Being!

 

Image number two is a metaphor for a belief system that says there is a Supreme Being, the Creator of all things and the source of all truth.  It likely supports a people-first business culture.

 

 

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Some Contemporary Philosophical/Religious/Business Belief  Systems & Movements

 Anarchism     Atheism     Baha’i     Behaviourism     Buddhism     Capitalism

Christianity     Communism     Confucianism     Creationism     Environmentalism

Evolution     Feminism     Free Enterprise     Free Will     Globalism     God(s)

Hinduism Human intellect     Humanism     Human Sexuality     Islam     Jainism

Judaism     Nationalism     Native Spirituality     Paganism     Personal Gratification

Personal Sacrifice     Positivism     Relativism     Right to Choose     Right to Life

Roman Catholicism     Secularism     Sikhism     Supreme Being     Socialism

Taoism     Theory E     Theory O     Unitarianism     Wiccanism     Zoroastrianism

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No matter what, Beliefs are all about our lifetime search for what is true. This applies to both personal and group cultures.  In the case of a group culture, it is what the majority of people within the group hold to be true.  

The Gift of Adversity: Norman Rosenthal

The Gift of Adversity: Norman Rosenthal

 

adversity norman rosenthal

 

Norman Rosenthal is the world-renowned psychiatrist, researcher and best-selling author, who first described seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and pioneered the use of light therapy as a treatment during his 20 years at the National Institute of Mental Health.

A highly cited researcher, he has written over 200 scholarly articles, and authored or co-authored eight popular books. These include Winter Blues, the New York Times bestseller Transcendence, and The Gift of Adversity. Listed as one of the Best Doctors in America, he has practiced psychiatry for over three decades, and has coached people from all walks of life — such as corporate leaders, athletes and actors.

Rosenthal has conducted numerous clinical trials of medications and alternative treatments, such as Transcendental Meditation, for psychiatric disorders. He and his work have been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, NPR and other national media. 

The Most Dangerous Four-Letter Word: Dick Simon

The Most Dangerous Four-Letter Word: Dick Simon

 

The word THEM has the destructive power to enslave entire continents, wage wars, and commit genocides. THEM impacts personal relationships as well as geopolitical conflicts. This talk will inspire you to get past THEM and recognize that the ‘other’ has its own narrative, history, and perspective. With this insight, conflicts are resolvable and our human interactions are richer and more nuanced.

Dick Simon is a serial entrepreneur, passionate photographer and has spent the past twelve years traveling throughout conflict regions of the world, including North Korea, Iran, Syria, Israel/Palestine, Cuba and others, learning about and combating the most dangerous four-letter word in the English language, THEM. 

 

 

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