Click on video above.
We have a waiting problem
We wait for things to get better
We wait for the economy to improve
We wait for just the right moment
We wait til we have more money in the bank
We wait for a better day [Read more…]
I used to be one of those people who was in awe of the choices we have all around us. “Give me more information”, I used to say. From my career to my life at home, I used to utilize information – lots of it – to make any decision, small or big. I needed options driven by data to figure out which way to go in an uncertain and unpredictable environment. I figured the more you know about something, the better you would be able to make a decision. But not necessarily, as I was reminded of recently.
Since I have a very long commute to work every morning on the bus into the city, my wife asked me to do research on where we would go on vacation via all the latest apps on my iPhone. Off to Expedia, Hotels.com and TripAdvisor I went!
Chaos! Holy cow! So many options. Fly out of Phily or Newark or LaGuradia or JFK? Which is the best flight? Which is the better airline? How do you balance the price versus service? Should we go early in the morning so we have more time to spend when we land? Or is it too much of a hassle to get to the airport in the morning. But the mid day flights are filled and too expensive and don’t have four seats in economy next to each other. Searching for the ideal hotel in our budget was even more overwhelming! How do you decide, especially when you’re spending so much money for a family of four? What about all those conflicting traveler reviews on TripAdvisor? As I scanned the advice from recent fellow travelers, I got even more confused as I realized that for every 2 good reviews, there was one awful review.
Confusion ensued. [Read more…]
I was curious about something: Can good ideas emerge in uncertain times amidst uncertainty and chaos? I have a simple theory that some of life’s best ideas, best opportunities and greatest successes emerge during times of unpredictability, uncertainty and chaos. My gut tells me that the complexity of today’s world, chaos at work, chaos at home, is not all that bad. That there must be a silver lining somewhere in there.
So I asked someone who is in the creative business, namely Jim Tenny, what he thought about chaos and the role uncertainty and unpredictability play in his line of work – advertising.
Jim Tenny is Chief Operating Officer of Della Famina Rothschild Jeary and Partners Advertising agency. He runs an ad shop where creativity and ideas are THE heart of their business. Companies go to them to find the right idea communicated the right way to the right audience. They NEED creative people. They NEED good ideas. And they have lots of them.
I sat down with Jim recently and asked him: Where do good ideas come from? [Read more…]
I was driving by this famous Delhi attraction today and so decided to stop by and be a tourist for 10 minutes. The site is called Lotus Temple and it is a place for anyone with any religion to come and pay respect to God. It is not a Hindu temple where most Indians go to worship. It is free and open to people of all faiths.
The structure of Lotus Temple resembles a lotus flower, which is one of the holiest symbols of the Hindu faith. In the Indian culture, the lotus flower is the source of where life is supposed to emanate from. Lotus Temple serves as a tourist attraction but the intention is a “gathering place where any one can worship God without restriction”, so says Wikipedia. It is a marvelous site!
As I looked around me, I noticed people of all faiths going in and out of this beautiful structure and realized that a lot of locals were going in there as well. [Read more…]
I’m in New Delhi, India this week on a short work trip. I’ve been here several times but I always end up learning something new about how people live and work in this country of 1.2 billion people. Yup, 1.2 BILLION. It’s crazy…so many people, everywhere! [tidbit: India is about a third of the size of the US]
Today is an Indian holiday. It’s a religious one where families go to the temple to worship the God Shiva for health, wealth and happiness. On my way somewhere we got stuck in traffic…not unusual at all if you know India! As our car got closer to the site of the bottleneck, I noticed this huge line that was formed to get into a park where this gigantic statue of the God Shiva stood. It is probably 100 feet tall and given that the religious holiday was to honor Shiva, people were lined up for what seemed like miles to pay their respects. [Read more…]
Here’s the great thing about all this uncertainty, unpredictability, complexity and chaos in our lives today: You have just as good a shot at the next breakthrough idea as anyone else. Nothing is written in stone. Everything is malleable. Anything is possible. No one has a monopoly on good ideas or the passionate pursuit of a dream.
Don’t ask Why. ASK WHY NOT? Why can’t chaos work in my favor? Why can’t I succeed and live the life I want, as others have by luck, randomness, chance or choice? Why not me? [Read more…]
I went to Berlin, Germany for a few days on a business trip recently. Although it wasn’t my first time in Germany, something was different about this trip than the dozens of other trips I had taken to Germany in years past.
For some reason, I felt really good. I mean REALLY good. I didn’t eat in fancy restaurants. I didn’t stay at an awesome hotel. I didn’t even visit the typical tourist sites, with the exception of the Brandenburg Gate, which was a few blocks from my modest hotel. But it felt like I had left the troubles of uncertainty and unpredictability of my life behind at Newark airport.
I felt like a kid going on his first outing out of the country even though I’ve worked internationally for 15 years and have been to almost every country multiple times!
Something was different. I found myself doing things I would not normally do. I took the local metro to go to the office, where I usually would have taken a taxi. I ate in a local hole in the wall (hard to really find a hole in the wall in Berlin though). I walked around in the evening and did a little bit of shopping for my girls, when normally I would have been in the hotel room logging on to the laptop and doing countless emails. I was embracing the chaos to the fullest extent. I was living in the moment. I was engaged. I was content. I wasn’t sleeping much…but I was really energized! [Read more…]
Cam is a devoted husband and father to two young children residing in the countryside outside of Toronto. Cam runs a boutique consulting business. His work takes him to Berlin one week, New York the next and Singapore the week after. In between all the traveling, he manages to find time for his wife Karen and support the activities of his kids. He is a soccer coach and a Cub Scout leader.
“I love seeing the satisfaction in the kids’ eyes as they achieve something like learning to start a campfire in the woods. It’s great watching them master a new skill,” Cam told me as we talked about his work with kids.
One day Cam was trying to encourage his 9 year old son Maclain to try something new. Maclain was hesitant, a bit intimidated by the new challenge. Cam tried to reassure him and said to his son, “Sometimes you have to do things that scare you…a little.” [Read more…]
“Now, he has got the life!”, a friend said to me the other day referring to a common friend we share on Facebook. This common friend is always on Facebook putting up photos of himself in beautiful places with beautiful people doing fun things.
One day you see pictures of him having a glass of champagne at the hottest restaurant on another day he’s “checking in” using Foursquare at a fancy hotel somewhere in the world and the next day he’s surrounded by hip and interesting people having a great time in the tropics. No matter what happens, from the outside looking in, it seems like this guy is having the time of his life.
On some days looking at those photos drives me absolutely crazy! What gives? What am I doing wrong here? How is this guy living the good life while I’m struggling with so much chaos just trying to get by? It doesn’t add up! How is he paying the mortgage and doing all the things he’s doing with the kids so perfectly? He’s probably at home right now baking gluten free cookies!!! And here I am slaving away at a stressful job, ordering takeout for my kids, tossing them an Oreo instead of an apple and always running around trying to make ends meet. [Read more…]
It was Saturday morning at home. I was sick with an awful cold, lacking sleep because of my painful herniated discs acting up all night and just feeling tired and exhausted still trying to recover from the holiday parties. Got my 6 year old daughter ready for piano lessons, took her to the first birthday party, made lunch for the 3 year old, start the laundry, etc. It was a crazy Saturday. Aghhh….”Calgon, take me away” …wait, am I allowed to say that as a guy?:) [wonder if anyone still remembers the calgon reference?]
The real chaos ensued after my wife left me alone with the kids because she had to see a patient unexpectedly! Managing the kids while being sick was just brutal but there was something else that was contributing to my stress and anxiety that I just couldn’t identify.
Later, my wife forced me to join her and the kids at another birthday party on Saturday night at our friends’ house for their 7 year old son.
You know what? IT WAS A BLAST! No neck pain, no misery, no stress, no anxiety! I FELT SO MUCH BETTER!!!! I chatted with friends, shared a laugh and watched a 7 year old blow out candles on his allergen free birthday cake (he’s highly allergic to everything…like my daughter). Even watched my wife lead the other spouses in dancing (see photo) to an old song called the Macarena! (am I dating myself?) It was a lot of fun.
BUILDING DEEPER SOCIAL BONDS Helps me to Embrace the Chaos
Driving home Saturday night made me realize something about myself that I knew but seemed to have forgotten: I am a social human being and NEED human interaction to feel good. I need adult, one on one conversation and socialization to survive. I need to talk to people to make me feel better. [Read more…]