Friday, October 29, 2010

Passion Party #294 - Walk Through Fire

My greatest triumphs are not easy
they take time, strategy,
strength and commitment.

They often take me to dangerous places
way out of my comfort zone.

But to reach this level of greatness
the only way out is through

Sometimes to get to the finish line
you have to walk through fire
It is time to face my fears
and reach for the greatness,
reach for my highest self.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Passion Party #293 - The Great American Tweet

If there was ever a clear sign
that the end of civilization is near
it is Twitter, and the ascent of "Texting" instead of "Talking".

Our attention span
destroyed by TV, media,
Now rather than strive to write
The Great American Novel,
English majors in college aspire to write
The Great American Tweet (in 140 characters or less).

Statistics from Pew Research and the Nielsen Co., reported on 10/14 in the Wall Street Journal, paint a bleak picture (unless you own a cellphone company):
-66% of adults sleep with their cellphone next to the bed
-84% of texting adults say they send and receive texts "just to say hello".
-17% of cellphone owners admit to having physically bumped into a person or object while talking or texting
-teens send and receive a total of 3,339 texts on average per month.
-Twitter reports that two BILLION tweets are sent every month.

Perhaps the Next Great Novel will be written by 100 monkeys on 100 typewriters on Twitter?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Passion Party #292 - Be Spontaneous

A friend of mine who manages an internet advertising company
attends an improv class once a week in Hollywood.
I cannot think of a better way
to learn how to adapt in today's world.

Being spontaneous
is something you cannot plan for.
It is not contrived or manipulated.
It is an action that occurs without premeditation, and often without an external stimulus.
Like a jazz solo,
it must spring from your knowledge and past experience and move forward
into uncharted areas.

It is that uncharted area
that give spontaneity its power
and its danger

I will leave room on my life to be spontaneous.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Passion Party #291 - Momentum

When you find what you are passionate about
what you love to do
what you are good at
the Universe gives us momentum
to support the decision.

Like rolling down a hill
or floating on a river
once you get it going in the right direction
it becomes easier to grow,
to add more, to get bigger.
The momentum carries you further
than you thought possible.

When this happens it is time to ride the wave
and avoid obstacles that can effect your momentum.
I just need to
get out of my own way.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Passion Party #290 - Survive, Save, Serve

Most people work to survive; they work to meet their basic living needs (in today's world, this is in itself a great achievement).

Some people get beyond survival, and are able to save. These people have gone past their basic needs, and are able to expand and improve their lives.

And some people get beyond just saving, and they serve. They are able to not just improve their own lives, they make a contribution to the world they live in.

If I keep my focus on the highest reason for working
then whatever job I have will be rewarding.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Passion Party #289 - The Law Of Compensation

My dad was president and owner of a sheet metal company in Queens, NY. They manufactured and installed duct-work for office buildings in New York City. During a few summers I worked in the office above the factory as a helper and sales assistant to earn money for college.

One of the lessons my dad wanted to teach me was that to really make money - to be in the "upper middle class" or above - you needed to be the boss. Hourly wage was fine for the factory workers, but to have a high level of compensation, you needed others working under you. You had to get beyond an hourly wage, and be The Boss.

But I didn't want to be The Boss. I saw the basic conflict between manager and worker, and it felt bad to me. It seemed like a pursuit of money for money's sake, and I ran as far away from that as I could.

Now I realize that my dad was teaching me a fundamental Law of Compensation:
The Amount of Value you Create X The Number of People you Impact = The Amount of Compensation you Receive.

This is why professional athletes and the most popular musicians are paid so well. This is why Bill Gates is the richest man in the world.

It's not about being "the boss". It's about impact. If you want more success, you need to serve more people. It's about how many people you serve, and how you serve them. My dad's company was successful because they made a superior product at a competitive price and they delivered and installed it on time: quite an accomplishment in the building trades of New York City.

My dad was teaching me the right lesson, he was just teaching it to me the way he learned it. And perhaps I was too young to hear it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Passion Party #288 - Creativity

I love being creative
in my work and my play.

We can do what is put in front of us
or we can create something
from what is given us.

We can follow the recipe
or we can experiment by adding ingredients.

The spark of creativity
is attractive.
It can be as simple as,
instead of reading the rule book, thinking:
"How can this be accomplished?"
and being open to the answer.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Passion Party #287 - Reaction

In Newton's Third Law, action and reaction are interchangeable; the distinction between action and reaction is purely arbitrary.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

But in life, there is a definite difference between my actions and my reactions.
Today I choose action.
I could easily spend the day
reacting to what is given me
holding grudges,
getting mad at something that someone has done to me.

I would rather take the first step,
be pro-active
moving forward
There is an excitement in taking the first step
a sense that
I have the ability to make a difference
in my own life
as well as for others.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Passion Party #286 - Quit Waiting!

A poem by Jack Canfield:

It's time to quit waiting for

Someone to change
The right person to come along
The kids to leave home
A more favorable horoscope
The new administration to take over
An absence of risk
Someone to discover you
A clear set of instructions
More self-confidence
The pain to go away

Get on with it already!

(from "The Success Principles" by Jack Canfield)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Passion Party #285 - Assumptions

My fear of the unknown and
My fear of rejection
get in the way of my helping people.

People always imagine the worst
when they don't know what is true.
I don't know what mood you are in
so I am afraid of being rejected
so I won't ask.

Even if you are one of the few that assumes the best in people
you will be sorely disappointed
if you don't check it out and ask if
everything is going as planned.

Don't assume!
Just check it out, with
"I'm curious..." or
"I'm wondering if..." or
"Would it be OK to..."
Communication is the key to
unlocking false assumptions.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Passion Party #284 - Creative Destruction

The status quo is a losing game.
If change is our only constant in life
then we must embrace it,
love it,
and follow it, kicking and screaming,
into Creative Destruction.

America has a long history of creative destruction,
from the American Revolution
to Manifest Destiny
to the railroads
to the auto industry
to Silicon Valley and the internet.
This is why such a small portion of the companies on the Fortune 500 list remain the same after 10 years: Creative Destruction. (A quick glance at the lists from 2000 and 2010 show that only 11 of the Top 20 companies from 2000 are still in the Top 20 in 2010).

It should come as no surprise that a remarkable share of Silicon Valley companies are founded by immigrants or their children - people with little to lose often take the greatest risks.

The question today:
Where is the Creative Destruction in my business
and how can I work with it, instead of against it?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Passion Party #282 - Give What You Can - With Passion

As we move through life
from survival to significance
the big change is in what we give.

When I was young I thought that I had to build wealth before I could give.
Then I realized that I could do service, and give my time to things I cared about.

Giving time can be the greatest gift
It actually doesn't matter what, or how much you give.
If you give what you can, with passion
you can change the world.

"We make a living with what we get,
but we make a life with what we give."
- Winston Churchill

Monday, October 4, 2010

Passion Party #281 - Accountability

Accountability is the most powerful tool.
It gives me the will to do things that are against my nature.
Something like waking up every day at 5:0 AM
to stretch, meditate and journal.
At first it was an impossibility,
now it is a habit.
And it came from being accountable to my mentor.

When I get far out of my comfort zone I need accountability to keep me on track.
It could be a promise to a friend that if I don't do what I commit to
I must send $100 to Glenn Beck's Foundation.

Even stronger - a commitment with nine other people
that if we don't all stay on track this week
the whole group disbands.

A commitment to show up every day
and try our best
and let go of the results.