Warning Lights or Worry Lights?

I’ve been riding around for more than a few months with a check engine light on. Fortunately for me it’s just out of view because the steering wheel and my drivers seat are positioned perfectly to hide it. Lol.

This positioning doesn’t mean I didn’t used to worry every time I drove the car everywhere other than to my trusted mechanic. For the record, I used to worry about lots of things including the engine light until I took my car in for an oil change and asked my mechanic “what’s that light about?” He assured me that the light, at the time, meant that BMW wanted me to come in for some unneeded maintenance.

The lesson that I learned is to trust my barber. There’s an old saying that you don’t ask your barber if you need a haircut because you will be told that you need one. For those of you who have jokes about my hair and know I cut my own hair, I think you get the point I am really making. A trusted adviser is one who creates a YOU WIN / THEY WIN. It’s about having a mutually beneficial relationship.

I guess I better go get my check engine light checked because I don’t want my light to be the boy who cried wolf and then there really ends up being a wolf under the hood. ;-)

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What if your last name was Winner?

Marie Smith Winner is the name on the Balboa Park bench that was dedicated to her years ago. I came upon the bench midway through my 3.2 mile run today. After reading the name I couldn’t help but to think what if everyone’s last name was Winner?

Over the past 12 months I have been exploring what holding oneself in high esteem really means. Surprisingly after both deep introspection and many conversations with friends, family and strangers, it is apparent that most people hold others in higher regard than they do themselves, including me!

I think it’s time to work hard at both liking yourself and loving yourself as if your last name is Winner and your middle name is “Is A.” And it’s equally important to hit the “like” button on your life instead of everyone else’s Facebook page.

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PowerBall Lottery Winner Vs. Jackpot Winner

Before I checked my PowerBall tickets I wrote an email to myself titled “The Day I Won The Lottery.” Here’s the email…

Now that I have won the lottery, here is the way that I am going to live my life….

Spending more time and effort on…
- getting and staying healthier (eating, habits, and physical activity)
- seeking what is best for my familial relationships, rather than best for myself
- making time to help others and people in general
- question actions inconsistent with my values while understanding consequences
- being more aware of the omens and leaning more into my entrusted luck
- exhibiting bias-to-action, and avoid analysis paralysis
- focusing more on what makes me happy
- contributing to the world with my unique gifts
- respecting the language of the universe and managing distractions
- being a better steward of the gifts that have been entrusted to me

Spending less time and effort on…
- people who are not grounded in my core values

What I look forward to….
- acknowledging LOVE and embracing the power of LOVE
- the “written” journey
- paying all those that I promised to pay
- creating jobs for those who need them
- saying “no” when appropriate
- being a persuasive influence
- marriage
- children
- traveling
- golfing
- San Diego
- new experiences……

So I found the PowerBall numbers online, and without even looking at my card, I saw the numbers of 5, 22 and 23. This made my heart stop because I picked those numbers for specific reasons. Had I written an email to myself and was now going to be forced by the universe to live that direction?

Long story short, I am a lottery winner of $7 for picking 3 correct numbers but I am not a jackpot winner. As I reflect on this email, I can still live a fulfilling life without matching all six numbers. But there is always next time. :)

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What’s your time worth?


Everyone has 168 hours a week to do whatever they choose to do. I stumbled on this concept months ago by doing the simple math of 24 hours multiplied by 7 days and poof – 168 hours of happiness.

If you tallied up what you do in a week, what would you spend the most time on? Sleeping, working, or time with friends and family?

Now that we know how much time we have in a week, how do you value your time?

As a consultant to CEO’s, I have struggled to price my time but never to value it. My CEO’s say not only have I helped them grow their businesses, solve problems faster than normal, but in the end they get better sleep at night because they aren’t as worried about their business as they used to be. I find tremendous value in these comments.

To date, I still price my engagements based upon what my CEO’s feel my service is worth. If they have no context for the service then I will take a base rate and earn my way up. This approach increases the chances of CEO happiness and helps me sleep at night.

If you are a parent, consultant or even a volunteer, look at every hour you spend and think about the value of the hour instead of the cost of it. And price accordingly! :)

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Egg Timer?

Why an egg timer?

Being that I don’t have an egg timer in my kitchen, I began to wonder the “why” of an egg timer. After a quick google search, I see that the egg timer is a device to measure the time required to boil an egg. Unfortunately, that definition doesn’t answer my question of “why.”

I think the “why” of the egg timer is to relieve not only the worry of making a mistake but also to give me the peace of mind so I can do other things while I wait for the “ding.”

Can we put an egg timer on decisions that we haven’t made?

This question really got me closer to the bigger “why.” The decision to make a hard boiled egg is what is most important. The egg timer is there to support that decision. So I guess the purpose of an egg timer is as a device to measure the time required to reach the expected outcome of the decision that you make.

Time for me to turn on the egg timer for my decision to move to San Diego so I can experience more adventure, more companionship and better weather.

In the voice of an Indianapolis 500 announcer… “Drivers start your your egg timers!!!!”

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Passive Aggressive Company

Do you have a passive aggressive company?

While people can exhibit passive aggressiveness, have you ever thought about a company being passive aggressive? When you think of it, aren’t people what make a company what it is and how it behaves?

If you have a company filled with passive aggressive people then one would think you would have a passive aggressive company.

What are the things that you should look for to see if you own or work for a passive aggressive company?

Q: Are things purposely disguised to appear to be normal? Maybe everyone tells stories that customers are happy when customer loyalty isn’t being measured.

Q: Does everyone have the ability to express opinions or emotions without fear of capital punishment type consequences?

Q: Is conflict avoided or dismissed as a means to rationalize the company version of logical?

Q: Is information withheld?

Q: Are employees withdrawn or withdrawing?

Q: Are problems being ignored?

Q: Is responsibility being dodged by leadership?

Q: Are things that are real being distorted to fit the company agenda?

Q: Is there a company culture of each person making it look like he/she is pulling their weight?

Q: Are needs and expectations not communicated in a clear manner?

Q: Is everyone else an object of hostility?

I could go on and on to share other thought provoking questions but these should be enough for now. When assessing if your company is passive aggressive, don’t forget to look in the mirror because you might be a teammate. :)

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Firsthand Experience

Why do we fall in love?

Is it the attraction?

Is it what is brought to our attention?

I believe it’s the firsthand experience which reinforces our perceptions and observations.

Do you remember the first brand that you fell in love with and you told yourself “that’s me?”

Everyone wants to reach a sense of affirmation in any decision they make; new job, marriage, restaurant, hobby. In order to feel good about your decisions, one must know what they are drawn to, be present to what interests them, and experience the decision firsthand.

Then and only then can you really know if that decision “is you!”

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Diminishing Intention

We all have dreams and wishes. It’s up to you to not only keep them alive but also manage the distractions that diminish your intention. Distractions can be anything from consuming too much alcohol to ignoring the stressors of life.

What are the stressors that are distracting you?

One might think that ignoring something means that you are focusing on something else. If you ignore the weeds in your garden, you can expect the garden to die. Attack your stressors and the universe will make your dreams come true.

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Intentional Confusion

Do you think that direction or intention comes first?

It might appear to be a chicken and egg theory but take a moment to really think it through. Effective leaders understand that intention is the catalyst for creating and communicating compelling vision.

When was the last time you got in the car and didn’t know where you wanted to end up?

Or better yet, when was the last time you drove and the windshield was so dirty that you could barely see what was ahead of you?

As a leader, it is your duty to paint the picture as if it’s in high-definition television. The way to do this is to cast the vision based upon your compassionate understanding of your followers.

What are they confused about?

What information aren’t you sharing that might be helpful?

Fellowship and followship are entrusted gifts that are yours to manage in a selfless manner. If your followers don’t understand what’s going on, maybe it’s because you give inconsistent direction or no direction at all.

Be clear in your intention and the direction will follow.

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Battlefield or Boardroom?

There are CEO’s who think that being in the battlefield with the soldiers is act of building respect. While there is value to seeing the battlefield, the risk far outweighs the value if one doesn’t go into the battlefield with a sense of humility.

We see shows like “Undercover Boss” which are designed to show how ignorant CEO’s are about what’s going on in the battlefield. The resounding point is that these CEO’s have to have an open mind, receptive heart, and a spirit of empathy in order to fully embrace the smell of the battlefield.

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