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Surfing the Waves of Life

We humans are mostly water. We can’t live without it. Maybe that’s why we’re drawn to it. I’m sitting on my surfboard, legs dangling in the water. My eyes are open, looking to find the ideal, oncoming wave to ride back to shore. Every wave is unique, and we all see the them differently according to our distinct perspectives and ability to ride. Unlike other balancing activities, such as snowboarding or skateboarding, surfing is riding on liquid, ever changing, constantly evolving, unpredictable. A lot like life. We’re constantly looking for the next wave, evaluating, waiting for the right one, trying to predict if we’re able to ride it, stay on it. We sit, we see the wave coming….our parents aging, …

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My Five Step Commencement Address for All of Us

I know a “commencement address” can be cliche, but if you could find space in your heart to listen to people older than you, you may discover it benefits your soul and your mind. It’s okay to STOP, and enjoy spontaneous interactions and conversations with people – totally unplanned, unrehearsed and without an agenda. These interactions are some of the most memorable and life enhancing. Don’t waste mental energy on what others think about you. Most likely no one is talking or thinking about you. People are extremely busy worrying about their own lives and drama. Try sometime to just listen to someone without judgment or opinion, with good eye contact, head nods and an occasional ‘wow’ or ‘really’ or …

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The Ripple Effect of Spontaneous Generosity

We’ve all been witness to someone being nice to a complete stranger, such as opening a door, picking up a dropped item, overhearing a complement such as nice hair, lovely outfit….  And for a moment we feel good inside. However, science is showing it’s much more than warm and fuzzy. In a New York Times article on March 16, 2014 Milena Tsvetkova and Michael Macy, from Cornell University concluded “that observing an act of kindness is likely to play an important role in setting a cascade of generosity in motion.” In December of 2012 in Winnipeg at a Tim Horton’s Coffee Shop drive-through, a customer paid for her order and picked up the tab for the stranger in the car …

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GRACE TRUMPS DIRT

I know how it feels when someone says something rude, offensive or derogatory. For a few seconds you’re stunned. In those moments of being shocked by belligerent words lays an opportunity to take a breath and recall a definition of grace – “Treating people better than they deserve to be treated.” The most common emotional reactions to verbal attacks are: anger, hate, disgust, bitterness, etc. However, with a little grace, you don’t need to go there. We had just moved in to our new home. I was digging in the front lawn when our next door neighbor came by, looked down at my project and said, “Look at that damn dirt.” I said, “Excuse me?” She responded, “Look at that …

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The Risk of Investing Emotionally

What are the close relationships in your life worth? If I offered you a hundred thousand dollars not to spend time with someone you love, would you take it? What about ten million dollars? If you answered, “yes,” good luck with your money. If “no,” well, you’ve demonstrated how important relationships are, didn’t you? To me relationships are worth so much more than any amount of money. If I gave you ten million dollars, you would probably give a little away, spend a little and invest the rest (At least that’s what I would do!). It’s the same with how we ‘spend’ our emotion with loved ones. I love introducing close friends to other people (giving away). I ask for …

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Grabbing Your Heart and Mind…in Sixty Seconds

The majority of TV and radio ads are made in blocks of 30 or 60 seconds. Depending on the entertainment level, an ad can last forever or fly by in a flash. A dumbed-down, idiotic 60-second radio ad can feel like several hours. However, a well written and produced ad with funny and meaningful moments can be extremely captivating, grabbing your attention and making 60 seconds feel like 10. An example of a powerfully emotional ad experience is the Chrysler Super Bowl commercial from two years ago. The unheard of two-minute ad for the Chrysler 200, starring the rapper Eminem, was so well written and produced that over 16 million YouTube viewers wanted to watch A TV AD again and …

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Be My Guest…Only If You Want To

I just posted the seventh episode of my YouTube show, “Be My Guest, Let’s Chat.” I take a different approach to the typical, in-your-face street interview. Instead of attacking an innocent pedestrian’s personal space with an intimidating microphone and cameraman in tow, I simply sit on a stool in front of a comfortable blue banner that says ”Be My Guest, Let’s Chat.” Every guest thus far has freely occupied the empty stool next to me, not knowing what we’ll be chatting about. Why is this? Curiosity? Looks like fun? An opportunity to perform? Hoping that this is my big break? Just taking a risk? I’ve found all of the above to be true. We all want to be special. We …

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Wait, Don’t say It: Just Listen

Here’s one of the many communication tips I learned at a recent workshop led by my good friend, Dr. Ted Klontz: Good communication has a lot to do with just listening. In there lies the rub – usually I want to talk. We all have a lot to say. How, then, is listening good communication? How am I going to talk if I’m listening all the time? As you may recall from Steven Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” he recommends seeking first to understand before being understood. This is accurate, but moreover there are basic human needs that the primitive part of the brain (reptilian, mammalian) seeks to be met in every interaction – which is why we …

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What Kind of Day: Last or First?

My good friend Dr. Ted Klontz reminded me there are different ways of approaching your day – positive or negative, open minded or closed minded, fresh or stale.  So how do you start your day? You’ve heard the supposedly inspiring phrase “Live each day as if it’s your last.” Well, did you? Have you? Lived each day as if it’s your last? What did you do differently? How did your daily behavior change? How did it change your relationship with loved ones, or people you just met? Did you wake up in the morning thinking, “This is my last day on earth. I’m going to die sometime today?” Did you bother even getting out of bed? Maybe this is not …

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A Few Simple Words Can Make a Big Difference

This is a poem that unexpectedly changed me. I’m not a huge poetry fan. Most poetry I don’t understand. But this poem by David Whyte spoke right to my soul. Start close in, / don’t take the second step / or the third, start with the first / thing / close in, / the step / you don’t want to take. Start with / the ground / you know, / the pale ground beneath your feet, / your own / way of starting /  the conversation. Start with your own  / question, / give up on other /  people’s questions, / don’t let them  / smother something  / simple. To find  / another’s voice, follow  / your own voice,  / …

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Tim has launched WorkTribe Dynamics to help companies understand their employees so they can be empowered to succeed. Would you like to learn more?

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