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I had a rough day yesterday.  When it was over I realized I had neglected a number of things that should have been the most important parts of my day.  Instead I was wrapped up in the ridiculous circumstances that just seemed like piling on.   In retrospect, I have to do better.

Then I started to think about neglect.  When you neglect something it generally means it is not important.  There are different levels of neglect though.  The stress of the day yesterday caused me to neglect a few minutes I could have enjoyed with my son and wife.  Those are really important moments to me.  It is not the same as the neglect that occurs when you choose to eat pizza late at night every night!  Or is it?

How do you separate the levels of neglect?  Make a list of the three to five most important things to you.  Mine are my marriage, children, spirituality, business, and volunteer efforts. (Sorry Buddy the are not on this list but that does not mean I won’t feed you and take you out)!   Now I look at that list and the top three are non-negotiable.  When I have another day that feels like my luck is terrible and the world is crumbling around me, the top three will NEVER be neglected.

What can I neglect?  Eating crummy food, reading trash about politics and opinions that frustrate me, ridiculous reality TV shows, and I know I can keep this list going and going.  It is all things that suck out my remaining time and energy when it should be spent in better ways.

Figure out what you can neglect and what you never want to neglect.  Then lets all do our best to not neglect the important ones again!

One Day

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What if you knew today was your last day?

One day.  Not enough time to plan to tackle a bucket list.   Or much of anything.

Except for what is MOST important.

Can’t over think it either..the time will fly by.

How would you spend that one day?

I bet I can answer that for anyone reading this.  Talking to their loved ones.  Being with them if possible.  Being in the moment.

Facebook, Twitter, Linked In…not so much.

We all are distracted by modern life.   Watch any group of people together.  They spend as much time looking at their phone as they do each other.  Maybe more.

If you knew it was your last that how you would spend it?

Or would you want more?

One day..and chances are this one is not it.   Why waste it though?  The people you will spend time with on special occasions, particularly over the next couple of months, are likely who you would want to spend time with on your one day.  Lets get focused on those moments if we agree that they are how we would spend our one day.

If we only knew.

Happy Spring!

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Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

John Denver


Do you feel any different this morning?  The Spring Equinox occurred at 1:14 EDT this morning!  This date means two things.  Daylight and darkness will be approximately an equal 12 hours.  Most importantly, winter is over!!!

I know, most of us have been blessed with a winter that makes us re-think whether we really need to move to warmer climates December through February.  If you are like me, you are worried about the payback.  Does the weather really average itself out over time?

Longer days mean more sunshine.  More sunshine for many of us just means we feel better.  Is it the sunshine or the ability to be outdoors that makes us happy?  Or both?

There is actually some science to back all of these good feelings up.  In a University of Rochester study, 90 percent of subjects got a boost in energy and had their outlook brightened by spending time outdoors around trees, grass, and living creatures.  90%!

So getting outside and breathing fresh air does make you happy!   Walking outside, and not on a treadmill, gives your heart and your mental facilities a charge!  I find the chance to walk and see many different things well worth it for both my heart and mind.

Plus, with the official arrival of Spring, that means each day for the next three months will be longer than the night!  Lets all get happy!

Oh..I have to add this comment because I actually have friends in the Southern Hemisphere of the world.  To those friends…never mind.   Sorry…this does not apply to you.  Can you set it aside and come back to it in September?

Happy Spring!!  (to most of my friends who reside in the Northern Hemisphere!)

Little darling
It’s been a long, cold lonely winter
Little darling
It feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun,
and I say
It’s all right   The Beatles

Moral Compass

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What can Penn State teach all of us that is relevant to our lives?  I think a very huge lesson.  We all share a knowledge of certain standards in society.  Certain standards trump others.  If you serve an institution, there is a group think that actions must be taken to protect that institution.  We have seen it many times with large corporations.  Now we are seeing it in a large academic community.  The moral compass was programmed to mix up south and north.  Working for a long time in a large institution may blur the lines between moral, legal and ethical.  Clearly, Penn State botched it on all three counts and certain administrators let their moral compass lead them to protect the institution first, and the children were overlooked.  Wrong…but happens frequently..just usually not involving children..thank God.

I suspect it is not easy to keep your moral compass synchronized in a large institution where many of your superiors have lost their moral direction.  It is easier to tell yourself you did your job reporting the wrong to your superiors.  At this point, if clearly people are being hurt, and you feel you have done what you need to do by letting the institution handle the matter, your compass has lost its synchronicity.

Our moral compass can easily be forgotten when it comes to moral and ethical direction and our employers.  Don’t stand by and assume you have done all you need to do.  Check your moral compass today and remember we have a higher calling than just protecting our institutions.  It appears that Penn State lost its way a long time ago.  I doubt if anyone had thought beyond protecting the institution that this scenario would have escalated and so many people harmed.

A moral compass.  Make sure yours is synchronized and guiding you in all you do.

Ask More Questions

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If six children and two dogs were under an umbrella, how come none of them got wet?

Common riddle.   We get them every day.  If somebody runs this one by you the likely response is I don’t know.

Why don’t we ask a few questions?  Why not ask more questions before giving your client’s a quick reply?  Seek to understand so that you are understood.  It is a basic Sales 101 lesson, yet we handle most interactions with our clients, co-workers, and family with a quick answer.  Not a question.

If you take the time to ask a question or two, the riddle above is easy.   When you do the same with people you are interacting with, chances are you will deepen your understanding of that person and their needs.

Basic stuff, but hard to do.  Phone calls to return, email screaming out of a screen at you, kids climbing up your leg.   Just try.  Your interactions with others are not a riddle telling moment.  Chances are the person asking is not communicating the real question and digging a little deeper will not only connect you better, but might save a headache later.

“Why are so many children crowding under one umbrella?”  “What do the dogs have to do with the question?’  “Where are they when this is happening?”

Why did they not get wet?  Because it wasn’t raining.