Archive for June, 2009

International Happiness Day

WHEN:  JULY 10th 2009

A day where everyone around the world participate in making the world a happier place! Founded by Liberto Pereda of Portugal, Ambassadors from each country are spearheading initiatives to encourage people to participate in this memorable day. The US Ambassadors are Dr. Aymee Coget, CEO of The American Happiness Association, Eva Gregory & Jeannie Gabilinni, Law of Attraction Experts. A list of worldwide Ambassadors are located at the Facebook group.

Choose to spread happiness on July 10th, 2009

Events will be held all over the world.

Participate in International Happiness Day a variety of ways!
* Become a member of the American Happiness Association to be abreast of the latest developments or sign up for the newsletter (free)
* Join the Facebook Group for International Happiness Day
* Sign the UN Petition for support of International Happiness Day
* Join or Start a happiness club!
* Contact your country’s Ambassador to volunteer to help!
* Attend or host an event for your community on July 10th, 2009
* Tell your local media about this day

Practice Happiness Science on this day through:

> Gratitude practice

> 5 acts of kindness

> Smile at strangers

> Appreciate, Admire and give affection to others

June 30, 2009 at 11:44 am 6 comments

Guidelines for Being Human from Rob Bishop

Interestingly, this was part of a reading assignment in one of my books on Leadership by Richard Daft. I liked the message enough that I wanted to share. Hope you enjoy it.

1. You will receive a body.
You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.

2. You will learn lessons.
You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons.
Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works.”

4. A lesson is repeated until learned.

A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.

5. Learning lessons does not end.
There is no part of life that does not contain lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

6. “There” is no better than “here.”

Where your “there” has become “here” you will simply obtain another “there” that will, again, look better than “here.”

7. Others are mirrors of you.

You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.

8. What you make of your life is up to you.

You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

9. Your answers lie inside you.
The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.

10. Whether you think you can or can’t, in either case you’ll be right. Think about it.

11. You will forget all this or you will choose to remember.

12. Should you choose to remember, you will know that with forgiveness, love and trust you will embrace all that is yours. Take your place as a guide and undertake to live your life in absolute abundance, love and adventure.

June 29, 2009 at 1:35 am Leave a comment

In praise of the internet

I am sure all of us could share how the internet has positively affected our lives.  It could be through expansion of your company online and therefore abroad, starting a blog that became a book, or helping you do research for your job or school. For me, the internet has helped to make this really big world seem a lot smaller.

Growing up, my family moved around so much, continuity of friendships was extremely tough.  Oh sure, I would write letters (when’s the last time you wrote a letter??) long after I moved, but when we moved almost every single year, how is a 5th or 6th expected to keep that level of communication up?

Moving around was my dad’s thing as he continued to climb the professional ladder and we did it constantly.  Good for him in what he was trying to accomplish, but not so good if you are a kid trying to get to varsity on the volleyball team, or run cross country, or become editor of the school newspaper. Tough to do all that when you are moving around, trying to meet new people, and establish yourself once again in a new school.

In spite of all that, life goes on and the friends you made along the way stick with you. Maybe not in the sense that you still have contact, 13 moves later. But they stick with you in the sense that you haven’t forgotten about them, you wonder where they are, how life has treated them, etc. So, whenever the chance allows, you Google them, or try to find them on Classmates, or Linkedin, or Facebook.

In my case, I started reconnecting with some old high school friends via Classmates in 2005. Then in 2007, Linkedin helped bridge the gap with some old college friends. And in the past 2 years, Facebook has been an awesome tool to help me re-establish friendships.  More significantly, my having a website has sent family and friends my way that I would have never thought possible. All of this due to the internet.  Sure, there is talk that all this time spent emailing, IMing, etc. is breaking down our ability to communicate face to face, making many of us more isolated than ever, and reducing the quality of relationships.

But for me, all that talk is unfounded.  I have made many friends through online classes that I have been both a student and instructor; friendships that I can count on 4 years later having either never met that person face to face, or only having met them once.  I have talked to friends from 20 years ago, and most recently, a neighbor I hadn’t talked to since I was 12.  For me, the power of the internet has helped to take a very migratory upbringing and make it seem less so. How has the internet helped you?

June 25, 2009 at 9:49 am 2 comments

Opening a window to a brighter world

A blind man was brought to the hospital. He was both depressed and seriously ill. He shared a room with another man, and one day asked, “What is going on outside?” The man in the other bed explained in some detail about the sunshine, gusty winds, and the people walking along the sidewalk.

The next day, the blind man again asked, “Please tell me what is going on outside today.” The roommate responded with a story about the activities in a park across the way, the ducks on the pond, and the people feeding them.

The third day and each day thereafter for two weeks, the blind man asked about the world outside and the other man answered, describing a different scene. The blind man enjoyed these talks, and he grew happier learning about the world seen through the window.

Then the blind man’s roommate was discharged from the hospital. A new roommate was wheeled in – a tough-minded businessman who felt terrible, but wanted to get work done. The next morning, the blind man said, “Will you please tell me what is going on outside?” The businessman did not feel well, and he didn’t want to be bothered to tell stories to a blind man. So he responded assertively, “What do you mean? I can’t see outside. There is no window here. It’s only a wall.”

The blind man again became depressed, and a few days later he took a turn for a the worse and was moved to intensive care.

Do you open windows to a brighter world for those around you? Or do only see the walls?

Source of story: based on a story heard at a spiritual service in Santa Fe, New Mexico

June 22, 2009 at 7:22 pm Leave a comment

To all the fathers out there

Have a fantastic day!  Hope you get to spend some time with your family and kids, as well as a little time doing whatever it is that makes your soul sing. I know for my dad, he’s probably going to hit the links with my mom and sister.  Sounds like a nice way to spend a Sunday. Hope yours is just as happy!


June 21, 2009 at 2:30 am 2 comments

You Matter

  • When you love the work you do and the people you do it with, you matter.
  • When you are so gracious and generous and aware that you think of other people before yourself, you matter.
  • When you leave the world a better place than you found it, you matter.
  • When you continue to raise the bar on what you do and how you do it, you matter.
  • When you teach and forgive and teach more before you rush to judge and demean, you matter.
  • When you touch the people in your life through your actions (and your words), you matter.
  • When kids grow up wanting to be you, you matter.
  • When you see the world as it is, but insist on making it more like it could be, you matter.
  • When you inspire a Nobel prize winner or a slum dweller, you matter.
  • When the room brightens when you walk in, you matter.
  • And when the legacy you leave behind lasts for hours, days or a lifetime, you matter
For once, didn’t change a single word (I know, shocker!).  It says all it needs to. Full credit and thanks to Seth Godin for the above.

June 16, 2009 at 3:12 pm Leave a comment

Is it worth the risk?

To laugh … is to risk appearing the fool.

To cry … is to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach out … is to risk involvement.

To expose your feelings … is to risk exposing your true self.

To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd … is to risk rejection.

To love … is to risk not being loved in return.

To live … is to risk dying.

To hope … is to risk despair.

To try … is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. Those who risk nothing, do nothing, and have nothing.  They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, or love.  Chained by their certitude, they are slaves; they have forfeited their freedom. Only one who risks is truly free.

Thank you to Janet Rand for the above.  It has really resonated with me. And to think I found this among reading I did  for class.

I found this recently and had to share because I have had some amazing opportunities and taken quite a few chances lately (meaning in the past few months to past few years).  I have also heard from various persons in my life (be it friends, coworkers, acquaintances, or family) that they are, at times, quite shocked with some of my choices.  Most recently, it’s been about the amount of information I reveal about myself within this very blog.

I guess I just wouldn’t be true to who I am if I censored what I wrote or hid behind the topics, not fully revealing myself.  Although I am not the most outgoing person in the world, I do tend to be pretty open about who I am and what I think. I guess I wouldn’t make a good celebrity in that way!  I am happier with myself and my life when I am true to who I am than I was when I sublimated my true self for the sake of everyone else.  So, from my perspective, yes, it is worth the risk and I am going to keep taking them.  I will risk any pain, disappointment, or rejection that comes my way because of these choices.  Hope you can say the same!

June 15, 2009 at 12:15 am Leave a comment

Another rant?

I used to love listening to Dennis Miller’s rants. I even have two of his rant-related books.  They make me laugh at their honesty but also their absurdity.

At times, Seth Godin does this too.  Right now, he and I are in a parallel situation. I have been selecting textbooks for a 9-course program I am creating and am finding the textbooks to be anything but what I want or need.  But instead of me ranting, check out his post.  I had one of those ‘heck ya, you said it’ kind of moments after I read it.

It seems that the more I review textbooks, the more I am shocked by the prices –a paperback, 9th Edition leadership book is $150. WHY??  And am equally shocked by the repetitive text. Doesn’t anyone have anything new to say based on projects that have occurred in the past 3 years? Why are we still dissecting projects from twenty years ago? No mistaking their value, but there have been some recent projects that would be more interesting to dissect if you ask me. Apparently they didn’t.

As a professor, but also a student, I can agree with some of Seth’s final statements,  “This industry deserves to die. It has extracted too much time and too much money and wasted too much potential. We can do better. A lot better”.   He’s right. We really could do a lot better.

June 14, 2009 at 11:32 am 1 comment

Homeopathy, naturally

How many of you have heard of homeopathic medicine?  Do you hit Whole Foods and check out the natural oils and medicines section?  Ever considered biofeedback, meditation, hypnosis, yoga or other means to tap into your inner abilities? Do you believe in any of it? All of it?

By way of background, it might help to know that when I was growing up, I wanted to be a psychiatrist.  I can remember this pretty far back, like 5th grade.  The only catch was the medical school component.  I wasn’t scared of medical school, I just am not a big believer in prescribing medicine.  Not then, not now.  If you opened my medicine cabinet right now, you would only find the remaining medicine from my back surgery.  Yes, I do know that there are some very necessary medicinal needs (insulin, etc.) but for the most part, even at 17, I have thought we are an overly medicated and overly dependent society.

After 2 years, a few misdiagnoses, and one unnecessary surgery, I learned that I had psoriatic arthritis in 2006.  It was nice to understand why my knee, hip, and shoulder would sort of lock up and swell, or my toes would go numb.  It was nice to finally understand why we had to drain my knee once a month due to the excessive swelling.  I was first put on methotrexate and was told I would be on this the rest of my life.  I really hated this. Then when it wasn’t working well enough after about a year, they added twice-a-week injections of Enbrel.  What a lovely combo of drugs – I won’t disparage them because they were very helpful. I could roll over in bed again, walk without my knee blowing up and grasp a pencil again. I am thankful that they gave me my life back. But they severely compromise your immune system in order to suppress the overactivity.  But remember, I dislike taking drugs, especially ones that I would have to administer for the rest of my life (and let me tell you, those Enbrel injections are no picnic and I am someone who did the daily fertility shots for at least a month in order to donate my eggs to couples wanting children).

So, after almost three years of this, my desire to find an alternative was escalating. My uncles and dad took me to see a homeopathic doctor in India in April.  He had been successful with other members of my family with allergies and other issues, so I was very nervous but excited to see him. He spent about 3 hours with me, trying to understand how my body is affected by psoriatic arthritis and how the current drugs alleviated the pain.  He sent me away with some natural pills (for lack of a better word) and told me to call him in a few weeks to tell me how things were going.  His belief was that we would try it out and adjust as needed, but all in all, in a few months, no more psoriatic arthritis.

So, here it is, the third month. I stopped taking the Enbrel injections at the end of March (my suggestion) and had stopped taking the methotrexate earlier in the year (doctor’s suggestion).  After taking the medicines the doctor in India prescribed, I have had considerable success.  My knee hasn’t swelled once, which is a huge win if you ask me.  The toe numbness, hip/shoulder pain, and other issues have steadily become less and less of an issue. There are always alternatives, always choices. It’s up to you to decide.  I am glad I did, with my family’s help. Now, I hope you will excuse me while I snoopy dance as a way of expressing my complete happiness with how well things are going!!

June 13, 2009 at 9:26 am 5 comments

What makes up attraction?

This is a question I ask myself frequently.  I would love to say that it’s a recent question, but in one form or another, I have been asking myself this since at least high school.

Why are we attracted to people? Why is someone attracted to Vince Vaughn versus Tom Cruise versus Brad Pitt versus Will Ferrell?  And for the record, if I had to be trapped on an island, I would pick Vince.  Tom and Brad wouldn’t even make into my top 100, which is precisely my point!  I have never been attracted to Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt.  Shoot, when they were both in that Vampire movie, I am sure there were girls who fainted twice just thinking about it. Me, I thought they both ruined the movie.  Popularity does not necessarily equate to talent, at least not in my opinion.

So, back to the topic.  Why do these two guys leave me looking in the other direction, while other girls wouldn’t agree with my choice of Vince Vaughn?  The same I wonder about in reverse. Why do guys find some girls more attractive over another?  And more importantly than all of this, how do you maintain that attraction between two people? I am sure that is really the heart of my whole quandary to begin with.

I was recently watching The Opposite of Sex with Christina Ricci. It’s a great movie that I first saw in Maine at the Railroad Cinema. If you can get past some of the non-pc stuff and just enjoy it for it is, it’s a funny movie (gotta really listen – the jabs come fast and furious sometimes).  But there is one exchange that has continually stuck in the back of my head since seeing it about ten years ago.  Lyle Lovett’s character, Carl, is talking to Lucia (played by fantastically Lisa Kudrow) about sex.  He says that maybe the point of sex isn’t recreation or procreation or any of that stuff. Say it’s concentration. Say it’s supposed to focus your attention on the person you’re sleeping with, like biological highlighter.

For almost ten years, that has been in the back of my head rattling around.  It’s a pretty powerful little concept.  And if you really think about it, this makes tremendous sense. If you have ever had that wall come up between you and another, where the little intimacies of holding hands, kissing, cuddling, jokes only you two share stop, and the sex becomes less and less frequent, then you know that it isn’t just the act of sex that builds and develops your attraction, but all the other components.  Without that attention to him or her, or that specific concentration on the two of you, then why are you even with that person?

Biological highlighter. It’s a pretty intriguing concept.

June 10, 2009 at 5:55 am 1 comment

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