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Mandatory Mondays…

Good morning everyone; it’s Monday – yeahhhh!  How do you start your week?

A good beginning is half the work. 

Irish Proverb

Is it important to you to GET MOTIVATED?  What’s your favorite routine?  For many of us Monday is still the traditional start of our work week.  Not for Moms with toddlers however; for them there is no such thing as the “start” or the “end” of a week.

Same can be said at the other end of the spectrum I suppose.  I remember my Dad during his years in assisted-living would often ask, “What day is it?” After working for over 50 years and being retired for over 20 years, I guess the day of the week was no longer something important to keep track of.

How do you start your week?  I remember Lisa Kwiecien, one of the top sales professionals on my team, who liked to schedule client visits for Monday mornings.  She would fill her morning up with appointments.  The clients were happy to see her; the meetings were easy to prepare for; and she would almost always come away with an order for additional business.  Besides, she said it got her up on Monday mornings and started her week off on the right foot.  Her positive attitude was FIRED UP by noon so she was ready to face the cold realities of cold prospects and cold calling.  Mondays – yeah!

What’s your routine?  Reading the paper?  A work-out is the favorite week-starter for many.  Hitting the gym at 6 a.m. Monday mornings keeps our engines running throughout the day.  I’m an early riser, but the thought of working out first thing Monday morning is not on the top of my list.  How about you?  Are you a Monday morning work-out fanatic?

Some of my colleagues are lucky enough to have a flexible schedule.  That lets them have breakfast with their kids and drive them to school.  I envy those with their priorities in order and control over their day, don’t you?  When my kids were young it seemed I was always running behind at work.  No time to eat – gotta go – have a nice day!  Paranoia I suppose.  But to me, the concept of eating a sit-down breakfast was foreign and a routine of driving my kids to school Monday mornings was unfathomable.  An Unknown Sage quotes Wolter:

Wolter’s Law:

If you have the time, you won’t have the money. 

If you have the money, you won’t have the time.

Starbucks is a favorite stop on the way to work Monday mornings, yes?  Fodder-4-Thought heard someone place this order:

Venti, sugar-free, non-fat, vanilla soy, double shot, decaf, no foam, extra hot, Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with light whip and extra syrup, please.

(Taking a breath now.)  Perhaps it’s bagels and cream cheese from Panera Bread.  Do you bring a box in for the office?  Maybe breakfast burritos!  Back in the day, my favorite was Dunkin Donuts.  Not quite the popular, health-conscious cuisine today, I guess.  Do you have special Monday morning menu morsels?

Yes, motivation; particularly important for “Mandatory Mondays”, agreed?  What helps me GET MOTIVATED is loud, heavy metal, hard rock music.  And if it’s Monday morning, then it’s mandatory Metallica. Fast-paced, head-banging – really revs up my engine!  The louder the better; and some of their lyrics can penetrate one’s soul:

Forever trust in who we are, and nothing else matters.

Trust me; it’s simply who I am.  What’s your favorite Monday morning musical mantra?

GAP

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Passionate People…

I read an interesting article recently, Critical Things Passionate People Do Differently .  I’ve been receiving articles like this from TalentSmart regularly (check ‘em out http://www.talentsmart.com/ ).  To me, they are portraying an effective way of leveraging social media marketing by providing me consistent, useful thought leadership.

I think that anyone who quotes Galileo offers a different and interesting perspective:

Passion is the genesis of genius. 

Galileo

And as I read the article, I found myself doing a self-assessment.  Want to try it?  Here is the Author’s list:

  1. Passionate people are obsessed (In a good way LoL!)
  2. They don’t waste their time
  3. They’re optimistic
  4. They’re early risers
  5. They’re willing to take big risks
  6. They have one speed – full tilt
  7. They talk about their passions all the time
  8. They’re highly excitable
  9. They’re all about their work

On the 1st point, when it comes to my work and sports, I am definitely obsessed (hopefully, in a good way).  On the work side if you have been reading me for a while, then you know I am fascinated by the business of business and passionate about the profession of sales.

On the sports front, I am definitely passionate about football.  In fact, this time of year I love to bring out one of my favorite video clips that brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it.  To me, it represents the amazing things ordinary people can (and do) accomplish when they simply, but passionately “give their best”.  See what you think.

Here’s the 6-minute movie clip about high school kids, an underdog football team, and their coach’s passion about “giving your best”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sUKoKQlEC4

Probably not a management technique that transfers into today’s, modern business world – but his message and his passion does, true?  Although the sporting world is different than the business world, there remain many cross-over principles that apply.  Passionate owners, executives, coaches, consultants, managers and mentors can help us instill the drive and make the extra effort towards reaching our goals, yes?

One with passion is better than forty who are merely interested. 

Tom Connellan

Moving on to point #2 time wasting, the Author obviously has under estimated one’s passion behind the popularity of football as a pastime, agreed?  Point #3 – optimistic – for me, absolutely every day and twice on Sundays!  As my slogan states:

When life gets tough, you can get a helmet… or arm yourself with the peace & power of a positive perspective. 

Point #4 – early risers – for me, again absolutely!  This point brings to mind a famous football player’s quote I enjoy quoting:

Be happy today and every day because you’re dead a long time. 

Johnny Unitas

Point #5 – taking risks – maybe others think of me this way, but I don’t.  I suspect my optimism overshadows any perception of risk.  Point #6 – full tilt – yes, I guess.  When it’s one speed we don’t think of it as “speed” at all, do we?  Point #7 – yep, as my readers (and my wife) can attest.  Point #8 – again, “guilty as charged”.  Thank God I have a patient Manager who tolerates my occasional out bursts of excitement because he knows how much I care about “doing my best”.

And finally, Point #9 – regarding this point, I hope it doesn’t apply.  On a daily basis, I actually try to balance my work passions; seek new interests; have some fun in my life; and try not to drive my wife and family too crazy.

GAP

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Today’s outlook…

Will today be fair and mostly sunny?  Or, are we dreading that test or that big presentation that we know we are not properly prepared for?  Are we Olympians ready to run our personal best today?  Is today’s outlook one of accomplishment or disappointment?

Depending on the context, “outlook” has a variety of meanings for us, true?  For those of you on an airplane your pilot might have this outlook:

Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with broken clouds; but they’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive. 

Unknown Sage

Some might be girding for a disagreement with our spouse during breakfast and if we’re of European descent we may have a different outlook:

Old Scottish Prayer

O Lord, grant that we may always be right, for Thou knowest we will never change our minds.

Some of us fear the day; some are excited to see what adventures lie ahead.  Some are working out.  Some will sleep in.  Some will simply and mindlessly go about our routine robotically.  How will you face the day?  And what outlook will you bring for yourself and share with the others around you?

On the “for our self” side, I think Guy R. Ratti offers stellar advice:

I carry a picture of myself as a child (about six years old) to remind me of two things:

  1. To remember to always look at the world as a child does, with wonder and excitement of what I can become.
  2. To remember to forgive and love myself just as would that innocent child in the picture. Too many grown-ups live their lives feeling guilty over mistakes made or lose time blaming themselves for things that could have been. I remember what it is like to be a child and know that in many ways I am not much different from that boy in the picture

When I wrote this little ditty, this passage stimulated me to go through my family album and find that childhood picture.  And that picture stimulated my memory of a world filled with wonder and excitement.  The love I felt from my family; the carefree feeling each new day brought; the adventure of exploring the neighborhood.  That child-like outlook – let’s all regain that peaceful feeling today, deal?

OK, not everyone had a magnificent childhood.  But I bet you can remember a friend, family member, teacher, preacher, coach, or mentor that encouraged you to be all that is possible to be.  I bet you have a memory of a past, pleasant time that today, would be a good day to dust off that memory and use it to reset your outlook.

For those around us, they might appreciate the effort too:

You will be happier if you will give people a bit of your heart rather than a piece of your mind. 

Unknown Sage

We’ve all been there; life beats on us until we capitulate and our attitudes give-in to the “dark side”.  Stress and anger replace innocence and optimism.  We become the recipients (or worse, the originators) of the sentiment seen by Captain Bligh in the movie Mutiny on the Bounty:

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Well, it doesn’t have to be that way.  Our day can be whatever we chose to make of it.  Today’s outlook is under our command – and from the movie Midway we might heed the line from Robert Mitchum’s role:

When you’re in command – command!

So what will you command your outlook to be today?

GAP

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Luv our job?

My job “has its moments”.  Yours too?  With today’s wired, always on, always available world, it’s easy to bathe in the waters of continuous, overworked stress, true?  If you’re like me, we need to find some stress relief opportunities throughout each day.  If I don’t – I can become an old-poop-in-the-face – pretty promptly. This is one of my stress reliefs; click on my view at the beginning of the route I take driving home from the office every day:

Rocky_Mountains

Our snow-capped, Rocky Mountains – Awesome!  They take my breath away!  They’re one of the many reasons I live in Colorado and love my job.  Plus, they help prevent me from becoming a fatty-grumba! I remember my first sales position in the technology industry and my first sales manager, Dave Schwickerath.  One of the long-lasting impressions he made with me was this:

If you can’t wait to get up in the morning to go to work, then you know you have the right job.

Dave may have studied Confucius:

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Today, I can’t wait to get up and go to work.  It may have taken me 30 years; but I have found the perfect job. Now I’ve had other, stellar jobs over that 30 year span.  Learned a lot; made some money; had some fun.  I suppose all that “wandering” contributes to my capabilities to perform in my current role.  Yes, I “wandered” some throughout my career. But:

Not all those who wander are lost.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Without an extensive and diverse set of experiences, I may not be able to add as much value to my client interactions.  My job today may not be as fulfilling.  You see, my clients are another reason why I love my job.  Their encouragement and appreciation of the work I do, powers me to greater effort; and that powers me to greater fulfillment.  Makes my job fun! Maybe that’s how it works for Mary:

That Mary is the Under-Vice President of Expectation Deflations for the western semi-region tells you nothing.  That Mary is wicked smart, totally frank, and a trip to work with tells you everything.

Rick Levine

I too try to be “a trip to work with”.  I try to be awesome and enthusiastic – every day.  I suppose my style (and my shirts – sorry, inside joke) don’t resonate with everyone.  We are all “an acquired taste” I suppose – even the legendary:

People who read me seem to be divided into four groups; Twenty-five percent like me for the right reasons; 25 percent like me for the wrong reasons; 25 percent hate me for the right reasons.  It’s the last 25 percent that worries me.

Robert Frost

Well, I just try to continue to help my clients and colleagues while having some fun and making some money.  When I can help them realize the same degree of fulfillment in their jobs that I enjoy in mine, that’s awesome! And occasionally I need to remember to check my seriousness; my intensity; at the door:

Sometimes I confuse being serious about what I do with taking myself too seriously.

Tom Connellan

And when I see myself becoming a little-too-serious, fatty-grumba; I just jump in my truck and head home.  Looking at those snow-capped, Rocky Mountains reminds me to lighten up and live each day with awe and enthusiasm!  Hope you do too.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

I Wonder (I hope)…

Went to the Broncos’ pre-season game Saturday night.  I’m a football fan.  Well actually, my wife would tell you that I’m a fan of anything involving a ball.  Not true, however – hockey; NASCAR; track & field; I like lots of activities that don’t require a ball.  Do you think that’s what she meant?  Little wonder.

Ever wonder how the sports media and sports radio talk show callers all have “the answer” to every team’s situation?  They have already determined how the Broncos will fare this season.  I guess I can just turn in my season tickets.  Don’t need to play the games.  Lots of “experts”; no wonder.

I was watching President Obama’s town hall gathering last week held on a college campus.  Ever notice that no matter what the question and how complex the topic, our career politicians have the ability to provide a 3-5 minute answer?  Ever wonder if they could ever be asked a question where their answer would be, “I don’t know”?  Lot’s of “answers”; any wonder?

I was playing with my 2 year old grandson Friday night.  He’s at that terrific age where everything, especially the simple things, are wonderful.  Do you remember your first memories?  I remember my family; my front yard; playing with blocks; and being afraid of the dark.  Lots of joy; lots of wonderment.

I often wonder if wondering vs. having “the answer” is some sign of weakness today.   I mean, how many times do we find ourselves “telling” vs. “asking”?  Ever notice people who put their statements in the form of questions?  Too much Jeopardy growing up?  Or, just their clever attempt at “telling” vs. truly asking.  I wonder.

Cynics and critics can be worse than know-it-alls, don’t you think?  (Yep – a statement not a question – my bad!)  But really, how many times do we find ourselves speaking with someone who simply wants to doubt everything?

Wonder, rather than doubt, is the root of knowledge. 

Abraham Heschel

Sometimes just observing; just accepting the possibilities; just wondering is so much more refreshing than the pressure of trying so hard to be right all the time (or justifying ourselves when we’re wrong), true?  Let’s practice:

EVER WONDER… 

Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin? 

Why women can’t put on mascara with their mouth closed? 

Why don’t you ever see the headline, “Psychic Wins Lottery”? 

Why is “abbreviated” such a long word? 

Why is it that doctors call what they do practice

Why is it that to stop Windows, you click on Start

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid is made with real lemons? 

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker? 

Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour? 

Why isn’t there mouse-flavored cat food? 

When dog food is new and improved tasting, who tests it? 

Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes? 

Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections? 

You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don’t they make the whole plane out of that stuff? 

Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains? 

Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together? 

If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress? 

If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal? 

Unknown Sage

Here’s to a wonderful day!

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website and book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

What do I know?

I was working with a stellar sales team in Canada last week.  The total years of knowledge and experience in the room was awesome!  But… 

Why is it that in business, generally, and the sales profession in particular, the more we know and the more experience we have the more we assume we know?  I mean, what do I know? 

Who knew a camel could be featured by an insurance company in a commercial for a national advertising campaign?  (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWBhP0EQ1lA )  For the record, I didn’t understand the term “hump day” until a just couple of years ago.  See what I mean – what do I know? 

So I’m working with this team of highly experienced business owners and sales professionals last week, practicing discovery skills; using a case study.  In the case study, one of the company’s goals is to increase annual revenue from $30 Million to $100 Million in 3 years. 

OK – it’s a case study for a selling skills class – but the presumptuous reaction from class participants was amazing.  “No way” was the consensus; “Gary, that’s a hope, not a goal” they insisted.  This company could not possibly grow from $30 Million to $100 Million in 3 years! 

Wow – such enthusiasm!  It reminded me of those that poke fun at the highly educated: 

What has been suspected for quite some time about young men with MBA’s – seldom right, but never in doubt. 

To be fair to our sales brethren from the north, I get the same reaction from highly skilled and knowledgeable sales professionals in my Denver classes, too.  Why do you suppose this happens?  Is it that if we have not accomplished the feat ourselves, it can’t be done?  Here’s how our favorite Unknown Sage looks at it: 

            People can be divided into three groups: 

1. Those who make things happen,

2. Those who watch things happen, and

3. Those who wonder what’s happening.                                 

Which group are you in? 

One of the aspects I enjoy the most about the sales profession is all of the things I get exposed to that I don’t know about.  I am easily awed I guess.  Take Oracle Corporation for instance.  In 1985 Oracle’s annual revenue was $26 Million; it reached $1 Billion in 1991!  Or, take Crocs; 5 years following their 2006 IPO sales exceeded $1 Billion! 

But, what do I know about technology or plastic shoes?  And am I really so smart and so experienced that I can tell which prospect will be the next Oracle or the next Crocs?  Put me in Group #3 above, please: 

            I’m living each day with awe and enthusiasm! 

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary offers us this about “awe”: 

     Synonyms; 

admiration, amazement, astonishment, wonder, wonderment 

Now we’re talking! 

And Winston Churchill offered us this about “enthusiasm”: 

Success is the ability to move from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. 

Successful prospects are willing to face the challenges of moving from failure to failure in their search for success.  And I’m willing to help them.  Of course, we have our own challenges in the sales profession when calling on prospects: 

After all; the difference between cluelessness and greatness to the outside observer is often imperceptible. 

But what do I know about a prospect’s ability to reach their goals?  I’m very content being categorized in Group #3 above.  I simply strive, enthusiastically, to make a living selling to prospects that are in Group #1. 

GAP 

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website and book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

April 1st; weather; and baseball…

Ahh, springtime in the Rockies!  What a wonderfully eventful time of the year.  Today, of course, is April Fools’ Day.  What pranks and practical jokes have been your favorites over the years? 

Spring Break you say?  Do you have something planned for April?  Cruising is a popular option.  Except for Carnival Lines – they seem to be offering a continuous parade of April Fools’ pranks lately.  Reminds me of this tale from Roger Smith: 

There is a story about a little boy who was frightened coming aboard a famous cruise ship.  He asked the first sailor he saw, “Sir, do ships this big sink very often?”  “No”, the sailor said, “only once.” 

They say that April showers bring May flowers.  Of course, in Denver we’re still “in play” for snow.  In April of 2005, we were the recipients of a 30” blizzard that shut the city down for a few days.  At least my horses enjoyed it:

 Img2003-03-20_0003 copy

 

April is also a very exciting time in the sports world.  The NCAA basketball tournament wraps up shortly.  (March Madness spills over into April these days, I guess.)  The NBA is winding down their regular season and gearing up for the playoffs.  Collegiate hockey; spring lacrosse; NHL; indoor, professional lacrosse; the NFL draft; collegiate spring football; you name it. 

And yesterday was Opening Day for the 2013 Major League Baseball season.  The Houston Astros made their American League debut beating the Texas Rangers 8-2.  “American League debut?” you ask.  Me too: 

A reminder: The Houston Astros, members of the National League since their inception in 1962 (though back then, they were the Colt .45s), move to the American League West this season. We mention this because, frankly, if we didn’t, the 2013 Astros might scarcely have drawn your attention, beyond the likelihood that they’ll lead the major leagues in losses with a total higher than 100. 

 Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN.com

But mostly, April weather reminds me (and our Unknown Sage) of my Chicago roots: 

Life in Chicago 

60° above –   Floridians wear coats, gloves and wooly hats.  Chicago people sunbathe. 

50° above –   New Yorkers try to turn on the heat.  Chicago people plant gardens. 

40° above –   Italian cars won’t start.  Chicago people drive with their windows down. 

32° above –   Distilled water freezes.  Lake Michigan’s water gets thicker. 

20° above –   Californians shiver uncontrollably.  Chicago people have their last cook-out before it gets cold. 

15° above –   New York landlords finally turn up the heat.  Chicago people throw on a sweatshirt. 

Zero –    Californians fly away to Mexico.  Chicago people lick the flagpole. 

20° below –   People in Miami cease to exist.  Chicago people get out their winter coats. 

40° below –   Hollywood disintegrates.  Chicago’s Girl Scouts begin selling cookies door-to-door. 

60° below –   Polar bears begin to evacuate Antarctica.  Chicago’s Boy Scouts postpone “Winter Survival” classes until it gets cold enough. 

80° below –   Mt. St. Helen’s freezes.  Chicago people rent some videos. 

100° below – Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.  Chicago people get frustrated when they can’t thaw the keg. 

297° below – Microbial life survives on dairy products.        Illinois cows complain of farmers with cold hands. 

460° below – ALL atomic motion stops.     Chicago people start saying, “Cold ’nuff for ya?” 

500° below –  Hell freezes over. The Cubs win the World Series! 

Hang tough, Die Hard Cubs Fans.  2013 is our year! 

GAP 

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website and book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

What’s your “Why”?

Recently, I’ve noticed Business Leaders asking how to motivate their sales people.  (Seems that increasing our companies’ top line revenue vs. merely cutting costs is now in vogue – who’d a thought?) 

OK fellow sale people, all together now – LET’S GET MOTIVATED!  No?  Our “Why” doesn’t quite work that way?  What now?  It seems hard for Leaders to figure out how to motivate sales people, yes?  

Many say we shouldn’t need a “Why”; commission plans and money alone should be enough to motivate us.  Amazingly, this folklore remains popular even though study after study has shown that “money alone” doesn’t even make the Top 10 list of things that motivate sales people.  

Check out this YouTube clip: 

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc 

What’s that?  We have a different “Why”?  The carrot-stick leadership approach doesn’t work for cognitive, complicated endeavors?  Sales professionals want to earn “enough money” and then seek a self-directed opportunity to get better at our profession and pursue a purpose, not just a profit?  Who’d a thought? 

What’s your “Why”?  The successful sales professionals I know have a clear “Why” while wanna-be’s, don’t.  Having a strong “Why” is certainly not limited to the sales profession.  We might agree that purpose has a link to being self-directed; self-directed links to knowing our “Why”; and distance runners are an example that personifies people with a great “Why”.  

A friend of mine, Jacque, celebrated her 60th birthday recently.  She’s been a long distance runner for many years; runs for fun.  Who’d a thought?  Her children run, too.  Even her husband did back in the day.  Now he’s her biggest supporter. 

She recently ran a half-marathon in Denver, while her twenty-something year old daughter ran the full marathon.  Daughter’s time:  about 4 hours and 12 minutes.  Jacque’s best marathon time?  3:08 when she was in her thirties.  Oh, she pooh-poohs it now.  But her time is still a family best by over 20 minutes as compared to her husband in his prime; and an hour faster than her children!  Talk about a strong “Why” – how else could she run every morning often before the sun is up?  Yep, a clear “Why” and runs for fun – who’d a thought? 

Although I’m no runner, as a sales professional I have a clear “Why”; have some fun and make some money – in that order.  It has served me well for over three decades.  Of course, I welcome a little help in the motivation department from time to time – perhaps you remember my little ditty about facing Mondays?

            http://thequoteguys.com/2011/04/mandatory-mondays%e2%80%a6/

And similar to distance runners, sales professionals are competitors, too.  In today’s tighter economy we have to be even tougher competitors to succeed.  Yet as professionals, we are motivated by a sense of mastery and we are willing to “put in the extra miles” to get better; to be more skilled; to be tougher; in order to win business.  

Like .300 hitters in baseball who earn acclaim even though they fail 7 times out of 10, sales professionals aren’t easily discouraged either.  It seems that our “Why” kicks in when we strike out.  We rely on our self-directed sense of purpose, perhaps like the great Leaders that came before us: 

Success is the ability to move from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. 

Winston Churchill 

Motivation?  I think our Business Leaders can put away their carrot and stick approach.  Connect to our “Why” and reinforce our “Will” and together we will all get to the desired “What”.                           

GAP 

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Life after fifty…

Johnny Unitas, the Hall of Fame quarterback for the original Baltimore Colts, once said:  

Be happy today and everyday because you’re dead a long time.  

Facing one’s mortality can be difficult, true?  My Dad had a passion for life; always seemed happy; big Johnny Unitas fan, I guess.  He loved living – died in his sleep at ninety-one.  We all should be so lucky.   

At this stage of my life, maybe from my Dad’s genes, a new flame of intellectual interest is being kindled.  Don’t know why.   Have you had that happen to you?  Seemingly all of a sudden, out of nowhere, have you picked up a new interest, recreation, hobby, passion?  (Not THAT kind of passion, LOL!)   

I’ve started meeting with a writers’ group.  Found them on MeetUp.  We’re a small group.  They take turns reading some of their work-in-process; then the group discusses what they like and ideas for improvement.  I listen in awe.  We share an interest (some might say a passion) for writing.  They are experienced; some even published.  Me – well, you already know about my writing.  

Our group is aspiring novelists, mostly; a few poets, too.  Although I struggle to keep up, they think I’m a professor!  You see, I am constantly asking them questions about how they write what they write.  I guess they find my interest in their interests interesting.  I think I’ll keep the charade going for a little while.   Maybe print up some business cards; take on a pen name.  Ah, the fun of fiction!  

They write deep; their vocabulary is powerful; emotion and deep-meaning woven into their work; their characters are lifelike.  Me?  I write shallow.  Of course, you already know that.  I’d say my writing falls somewhere between texting and the obituaries; with a dose of self-doubt.  It’s like I’m drawing stick figures among artists.  Oh well, that’s why I joined the group.  

The other evening, one writer shared the title and background of one of his nonfiction books, The Second Half Starts at 50.  It’s about how to enjoy a higher quality of life that the longevity of our generation is experiencing.  His title reminds me of Leonardo DaVinci.  Did you know that DaVinci finished painting the Mona Lisa when he was fifty four years old?  Fifty four in his era was well into the “second half”, yes?  Maybe my second half will be full of new experiences, new pursuits, new MeetUps.  Maybe yours, too.  

Thinking of life in terms of “first half” and “second half” can be a bit sobering when one is in the second half.  Now, I find myself listening to other writers’ “deep writing”.  Like one of the group members, Douglas, The Wizard.  He was sharing his award-winning skill of reciting poetry impromptu; he has won contests with this ability.  And in about three minutes, he spoke a few lines that I would have strained to draft; edit; re-write; re-edit; and even then the odds would be 50-50 whether I would actually put it out on my web site.  But The Wizard, he just closed his eyes and the imagery flowed.  Amazing!   

While he recited, I melded the power of his prose in my mind with the wisdom of the other writer’s book title about life’s second half.   The Wizard said, “I am happy to be.”  And I closed my eyes, thought of my Dad, and added, “I am happy to have been.” 

                                                                           GAP 

How’s your day?  When life gets tough you could get a helmet – or, you could buy my book The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©  Please visit www.TheQuoteGuys.com.

Mandatory Mondays…

Good morning everyone; it’s Monday – yeahhhh!  How do you start your week?  

Is it important to you to GET MOTIVATED?  What’s your routine?  For many of us Monday is still the traditional start of our work week.  Not for Moms with toddlers however; for them there is no such thing as the “start” or the “end” of a week, true?  Same can be said at the other end of the spectrum I suppose.  I remember my Dad during his years in assisted-living would often ask, “What day is it?” After working for 50 years and being retired for 20 years, I guess the day of the week was no longer something important to keep track of.   

How do you start your week?  I remember a sales professional who always liked to schedule client visits for Monday mornings.  She would fill her morning up with appointments.  The clients were happy to see her; the meetings were easy to prepare for; and she would almost always come away with an order for additional business.  Besides, she said it got her up on Monday mornings and started her week off on the right foot.  Her positive attitude was FIRED UP by noon so she was ready to face the cold realities of cold prospects and cold calling.  Mondays – yeah! 

What’s your routine?  Reading the paper?  Borrrring!  A work-out is the favorite week-starter for another friend.  He hits the gym at 6 a.m. Monday mornings and keeps his engines running throughout the day.  I’m an early riser, but the thought of working out first thing Monday morning is not on the top of my list.  How about you?  Are you a Monday morning work-out fanatic? 

Some of my colleagues are lucky enough to have a flexible schedule.  That lets them have breakfast with their kids and then drive them to school Monday mornings.  I envy those with their priorities in order and control over their day, don’t you?  When my kids were young it seemed I was always running behind at work.  No time to eat – gotta go – have a nice day!  Paranoia I suppose.  But to me, the concept of eating a sit-down breakfast was foreign and a routine of driving my kids to school Monday mornings was unfathomable.  An Unknown Sage quotes Wolter: 

Wolter’s Law:

If you have the time, you won’t have the money.  If you have the money, you won’t have the time.                            

Starbucks is a favorite stop on the way to work Monday mornings, yes?  Fodder-4-Thought heard someone place this order, “Venti, sugar-free, non-fat, vanilla soy, double shot, decaf, no foam, extra hot, Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with light whip and extra syrup, please.”  (Taking a breath now.)  Perhaps it’s bagels and cream cheese from Panera Bread.  Do you bring a box in for the office?  Maybe breakfast burritos!  Back in the day, my favorite was Dunkin Donuts.  Not quite the popular, health-conscious cuisine today, I guess.  Do you have special Monday morning menu morsels?  

Yes, motivation; particularly important for “Mandatory Mondays”, true?  What helps me GET MOTIVATED is loud, hard-rock or heavy metal music.  And if it’s Monday morning, then it’s mandatory Metallica. Fast-paced, head-banging music really revs up my engine!  The louder the better; and some of their lyrics can penetrate one’s soul: 

Forever trust in who we are, and nothing else matters. 

Trust me; it’s simply who I am.  What’s your Mandatory Monday musical mantra? 

                                                                           GAP 

How’s your day?  When life gets tough you could get a helmet – or, you could buy my book The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©  Please visit www.TheQuoteGuys.com.