Unless you have sworn off all news and/or have been traveling to Antarctica over the past two weeks, you have undoubtedly heard of the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Harvey in Southeast Texas. I’m sure many of you have already donated to an organization that helps the people who have suffered so much loss, but still so many more of us could.
As those of you in our growing tribe have heard many times over, you have a lizard brain. We all do. It is one of the things that makes us human. The lizard brain is considered one of the primary mechanisms for our fight or flight response. And even though we here at Rewire teach on four very distinct characteristics of the lizard brain, it is important to note that learning to “still your lizard” is nothing shy of crucial to your success – irrespective of even how you define “success.”
This past year, I’ve been consulting for a company and one of its contractors on a big project. Since this big project requires close coordination, a large part of my work has become helping the two teams work better together. And this has not always been easy. The scope of their project is massive with matching stakes for success and failure. The deadlines are aggressive. The stress level is consistently high.
A month ago, I wrote an article on the power of the hand-written note. The emails, phone calls, and conversations I have received as a result of writing that article have been many (even a few hand-written notes in return!). And the stories that I have received about people both writing and receiving hand-written notes have been especially beautiful. I have heard about relationships that have been restored or rekindled, gratitude that has been given and received, increased sales that have occurred, and yes, even suicides that have been prevented — all because of someone taking the time to sit down and spend a few minutes writing a note and connecting in a meaningful way with another human being. I give a huge thumbs up to all that activity.
One of my favorite parts about the workshops I get to lead are the exercises. There’s this different sort of energy that fills the room when you hand the reins over to the people in the room and say “this is your time.” I get to sit back for a bit — take a few sips of water — and watch as people dig in and do good work with the workshop concepts. If you have ever attended one of my workshops, you have most likely taken part in an exercise where I have you write a hand-written note to someone in your life whom you are grateful for. Over the years, I’ve received so many fun, touching stories about the notes that have been written during that exercise and the amazing reactions from the recipients of those notes. And as hand-written notes have given way to email and texting, these stories have become more and more regular of late.
I have spent the better part of the last 17 years with the vocation of helping people improve —improve their lives, their businesses, their sales, their teams, etc. My primary way of working with people has been what some refer to as “coaching.” I don’t particularly attach myself to that category today, but if it helps people understand what we do, then so be it.
As many of you know from reading previous articles of mine, my WWII veteran/physician/real estate investor/all-around amazing father has taught me -- and anyone that spends much time around him -- life lessons that span generations and societal fads. This past Father’s Day, I decided to sit down with him and a voice recorder, ask a bunch of questions, push “record” and just sit back and listen. I am still blown away by what will surely be the first of many recording sessions. The first question I posed was around lessons he learned from his own father or father figures in his life as he was growing up. He told me all kinds of great things about his father, but what stuck out to me most were the things he told me about his uncle Vincent.
Today’s Wireboard is a bit of a twofer. We’ll always talk about approaches to growing our work - but today’s article also has a healthy dose of NBA basketball mixed in. So if you've been looking to improve your work and read about basketball at the same time, today's your lucky day! If, on the other hand, you despise NBA basketball, feel free to forward this on to someone you don't like very much.
The picture at the top of this article may be tough to decipher at first. It’s 120 black backpacks laid out in a hotel ballroom. But it’s how we got all those backpacks that I want to talk about today.
I wonder how many blogs, articles and other social media postings are going to revolve around the concept of thankfulness and gratitude this week? Inherently, there is nothing wrong with this and should you be more thankful or grateful because of this season, then that is wonderful.
When we think of making an investment in something it usually goes hand in hand with the expectation of receiving some kind of return. In the business or financial arena, this is referred to as return on investment (or ROI). Talk with any financial advisor and the mere mention of the word “investment” will inevitably bring up the word “return”.
The family and I just finished a 6 day mission trip to the The Dominican Republic and I am settled into my seat on a plane back to the US. I can now take a breath and write a little about what I learned. This was the first time our four-person family (13 year old Julia, 11 year old JJ, and middle aged Mom and Dad) have served others internationally and I must say that it was quite an experience. During this trip, we purposefully visited the most impoverished places to help in any way that we could during our short stay there. We painted houses, held babies and played with children that don't get much positive adult attention, put on medical clinics and small music concerts, and attended church services. I could (and probably will) write long articles about the extreme poverty we witnessed during our stay and the things that we can do about it that actually make a difference, but that is not what this article is about. Instead this little story is about what happens to us when we invest ourselves in others.
Do a quick Amazon search and it’s not hard to come to the realization that there is a vast amount of self-help material out there today that will aid you in determining who you are and what your purpose is here on this planet. And that's fine. In fact, I’m certain some of what I hold near and dear comes directly from some of the very material that I reference. That said, as I work with people one-on-one, I encounter a challenge that I find larger than understanding who we are – and that is facing and accepting it.
Everyone gets in funks. May not be often for some, but it still happens. Some funks can last an hour; some can last for a year.