Monday, November 15, 2010

A Force for Social Justice: Wilberforce

I never enjoyed the type of history full of numbers and names. I'd much rather learn about history thru biography.  Reading a few biographies a year will allow you to see your own time in a new light, and compare the lives of those around you (and yourself) to truly remarkable people. What you'll learn is the following:
1. Successful people all get "there" on their own terms
2. Successful people face very difficult challenges
3. Their tenacity is usually the reason for their success

I just finished a biography which I highly recommend if you need some inspiration.
Eric Metaxes' book Amazing Grace transports us back to the event which set up the US Civil war, England's abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire.  Well developed characters enrich  the vivid account of these historic events. Eric Metaxes writes with fantastic wit and tells a very personal story of Wilberforce's struggle against the Slave Trade from 1774 to 1833.

I recommend this book because it gives a unique point of view of the social justice as a creation during this time. Wilberforce had a big hand in creating a social conscious. Metaxes also explains the unintended consequences of the French Revolution on the freedom of the slaves.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Perfect Job Venn Diagram

I strongly believe that everyone should enjoy their life. In my earlier post, I showed a pie chart of an average person's day. We spend 1/3 of our day working.Thus if we spend 1/3 tortured, bored, feeling useless, then we are not enjoying 1/3 of our lives and are wasting them. 
There's no excuse for wasting your life.
Thus the next question is, how do I find my perfect job? Read on my dear reader.

Finding the perfect job is an ongoing task.

You need to identify the three following items:
1. What you like doing
2. What your skills are
3. What the world/market needs and wants

Then you need to find where they overlap.
This Venn diagram shows what you should do

The exciting part, is that all three of those variables will change regularly. So you need to constantly be updating your skills, discovering what you really enjoy and what the market is doing.

Go forth and enjoy!

Hire an architect

If you are not subscribed to Seth Godin's blog, then your missing out on crucial tips on the way our new market works.
Today's blog is vital and something very close to my heart: Architecture.
In this blog he makes the case for architects being the linchpin for small and large businesses because they tie the pieces of the business together.

Please check it out

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Are You Training Right Now?

If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth the writing. Benjamin Franklin

I saw my little 12 year old sister playing a video game online yesterday. I asked her if she is training to be an expert video game player one day. 

We are all training for something. It might not be something we have thoughtfully considered. We spend time watching silly viral videos, reading Hollywood gossip, watching too much useless TV.  Those are hours we are training towards being a viral video expert, Hollywood Gossip expert.... You get the picture.

Better we should spend those hours more strategically by training for our goals.

It takes 10k hours to become an expert at something according to Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers. So what are we spending your time on? Will it be something worth while?

Plot your day in a pie chart
Each of us has the same amount of time as Thomas Edison had per day. Edison applied for over 1,000 patents during his life time. Take a serious look at what you spend your time on.

Write down the things you spend your time on and ask yourself does this help me achieve any of my goals (personal, career, family, community, health). If not, see if you can delegate this task to someone else or just quit doing it!

Becoming an expert in something will take 10 thousand hours. Each hour you loose not achieving mastery is an hour you can't get back. Time is not a renewable resource. Its your life, make it count.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Culture Making

We yearn for Technology solutions to our deepest problems.
-Andy Crouch

I am just starting a mind blowing book on Creativity called Culture Making by Andy Crouch. Even though I just started it, I know I can confidently recommend it to you. Please stay tuned for more updates on the inspiration he is giving me.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Limited Resource Emotional Energy

As a leader on a variety of voluntary projects I am always faced with having people let me down. Recently of the members on a project I am doing quit. It made me so mad, upset, and depressed. I questioned if I should just quit the whole project. Maybe it was a sign?

As a leader, we are very vunerable. We must trust people and delegate responsibilities to them. It’s very scary if it’s a really important task. I’ve had to learn how to deal with people letting me down. I used to spend a lot of time sad or mad at those who let me down.

Then realized my anger at the person who dropped out was wasting a precious resource: My Emotional Energy.

Each of us has a certain amount of Emotional Energy and anger, envy, and bitterness eat it up and provide absolutely no benefit. I realized I need to use my Emotional Energy to move my projects forward. Thus I moved on, and realized that I can find someone who has the time to join my committee. Life will go on and so will our projects.

Monday, November 1, 2010

my up coming speaking engagements and topics

I've just been reviewing and planning my up coming speaking engagements and topics, and thought I should share it. Maybe it will inspire someone.
These are all short, under 10 minutes. But they should keep me on my toes for the next few weeks! You can watch my videos on or

11-03-2010: ISOP Graduation - Topic "Servant Leadership Advantage"
11-03-2010: 9-12 Toastmasters - Topic "Why You need Your DTM"
11-04-2010: Telecom Park Toastmasters - Topic "Farmville Crisis Management"
11-10-2010: 9-12 Toastmasters - Topic "Debate: Against Government Regulation"
11-16-2010: New Life Toastmasters - Topic "US Fiscal Policy: QE2"
11-11-2010: Telecom Toastmasters - Topic "US Fiscal Policy: QE2"
11-17-2010: 9-12 Toastmasters - Topic "BBQs with a Purpose"

My Addiction to Caffeine

Are you addicted? I was. People keep asking me why I quit caffeine, so here's the story. See if any of it rings true to you.

Every day was a roller coaster of emotions. I'd wake up feeling pretty good, but that would slowly ebb away into a weird off balanced feeling by 9:30. By 10, if I didn't get my tea, I'd feel like the world was squeezing me in. My world came to me in tunnel vision with the edges somehow clipped off short. I'd feel cranky and gave short reply's to my loving family and coworkers. I noticed that I'd just be in such a bad mood.
At first, one cup of tea was enough to keep me going. Then I had to up it to two.
Then I'd have another one at lunch time. Then another one around 3 or 4. My final cup was about 6 or 7. I'd have to get some more before I went to any meetings or events in the evening.

If I didn't have it soon enough, which always came sooner, I'd feel the squeeze of the world again.

I'd crash at night because I couldn't drink any caffeine after 6pm.

Almost right away I hated being addicted. I had always looked down on those addicted to things before, thinking they were weak. But now I realized how hard it was. I realized that if this is how I feel about caffeine, what must those addicted to drugs or alcohol feel? I'd seen movies showing the tortures people who had withdraws from drugs. If I was afraid of having a headache, how much worse it would be to have entire body tremors.

I kept looking for a time on my schedule where I could just go thru the pain. I finally picked a week starting on 10-9-2010. I used "Head On" headache pain reliever and drank lots and lots of water all day everyday. I ended up not having extreme pain. Just the tunnel vision and the squeezing pressure. It took about 6 days to feel fully normal.

Now I wake up feeling great. The entire day I feel full of energy and focus. I sleep much better at night also. I still would love to drink all the fun coffees and teas, but the caffeine really effects me now that I haven't been drinking it.

I think that its worth skipping the yummy drinks for all day high quality energy.