You Can’t Judge A Book Or A Person By Their Cover

The difference between reading a book cover and turning the pages is the difference between a drop of water and the ocean.

The cover is an appetizer to the main course provided within the pages of the book.

Once we open the book, we discover its message.

The same is true of the people we meet.

If we are to understand them, we must look beyond their “cover”.

What is really import to them?

What is happening in their lives?

Is there anything that we can do to add value?

We must both ask questions and listen to the answers.

To build connections, open the “book” and engage with curiosity.

I have found there is something to learn from everyone, if I am willing to look for it.

Who knew that books and people had so much in common?

“Never judge someone by the way he looks or a book by the way it’s covered; for inside those tattered pages, there’s a lot to be discovered.” – Steve Cosgroves

Where Are You Now? Where Are You Going Next?

Fact: You are not the same person you were a year ago.

Question: Are you closer to being the person you want to be?

If your answer was “no”, there is one more question to ask yourself.

What are you going to do about it?

All efforts to change begin as a thought, then we either do the work to make it happen or we don’t.

We all have talked about the need for something to change.

Those who are successful making changes understand that all change begins with the person they see in the mirror each morning.

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow-man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” ― Ernest Hemingway

What Is A Lifelong Learner?

Glad you asked.

You might be a lifelong learner if …

You know what you know, and want to know what you don’t know, but don’t think you know it all.

You ask questions more often than you issue judgements.

You don’t use the sentence, “because it has always been that way”.

You say “tell me more” more often than you say “NO”.

You don’t feel the need to be the smartest person in the room.

You would rather be in a room with people who are smarter than you so you can learn from them.

You use what you learn to reflect on your perspectives and beliefs.

You remain open to trying new ways of doing things.

If the older you become, the more you realize just how much more there is to learn.

You might just be a lifelong learner.

“Many important lessons were taught in the classrooms that we sat in, but it was in life that we were taught the lessons that had the most significant impact on the people we have become.” – Gregg Taylor

Every Tapestry Is Both Unique And Beautiful

Our legacy will be determined by the connections we build with others.

In their hearts, the most significant accomplishments of our lives will be remembered.

Every relationship we develop and every decision we make adds another stitch to the tapestry of our lives.

Leaving a Legacy is not optional, the Legacy we choose to leave is.

What will your children tell their children about you?

“Live your life so that your children can tell their children that you not only stood for something-you acted on it” – Dan Zadra

Keep Your Eyes On The Road

Driving requires us to know where we are going.

When we want to go forward and but focus solely on where we are where we have been, it usually does not turn out well.

We are told to keep our eyes on the road so that we know what is in our path.

Some people can only see what was.

Some people can only see what is.

Some people can see what could be.

Successful people do what needs to be done to change “what could be” into “what is”.

There is a reason why the front windshield is so much bigger than the rear view mirror.

“Life goes on – whether you choose to move on and take a chance in the unknown or stay behind, locked in the past, thinking of what could’ve been.” – Anonymous

So Many Masquerades Wasting So Many Lives

A false pretense, a deception.

Pretending to be someone other than yourself.

Being someone else allows us to hide who we are.

Some of the best actors never appear on stage, but we see them perform everyday.

Smiles become the masks that allow us to protect ourselves from being discovered.

Appearances can indeed be deceiving.

Sometimes people who appear strong, even people who are always there for others, could also use someone to be there for them.

People who are playing a role, are afraid to show others who they really are.

By intentionally interacting with them, we show that we want to know who they really are.

If we listen to understand, the reasons behind the words being spoken will become clearer.

We create a safe space where people can feel safe to be themselves.

Want to so something significant?

Be the reason someone feels safe to stop the masquerade.

Help them to show the world who they are, not who they think they world wants them to be.

“I was like a chocolate in a box, looking well-behaved and perfect in place, all the while harboring a secret center.” – Deb Caletti,

Where Did You Wake Up This Morning?

I woke this morning in a warm bed with a roof over my head.

A simple thing that happens every day, and like many of my blessings, one that I sometimes forget to give thanks for.

Many things that we take for granted, others can only dream of.

To be blessed is good, to be a blessing is greater.

Ask yourself, “How have I been blessed and which do I value most?”

There is much to gain from regularly asking ourselves questions and reflecting upon the answer that come back from within us.

Usually it is the simple things that matter most in both giving and receiving.

“Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.” – John Maeda

Habit Loops

Habit Loops are things that we do repeatedly without much thought.

They allow us to do more because they reduce the demands on our thinking after we have internalized how to do something.

Our brains are like the CPU in our computers.

The available resources are utilized by the things we are doing and thinking about.

Habit Loops reduce the demand on our brain by allowing the things we know how to do well to happen without thinking through every detail as we need to do when we were first learning how.

Things like driving a car, playing an instrument, or a sport are good examples.

When we started we had to think about every step in the process.

Where is the brake? How hard do I push it? Where do my fingers go to play this note? How do I grip the ball?

As we built Habit Loops, we were able to do the basics with little thought.

We just did them.

Habit Loops are also comfortable.

We have done this before and we know we can do it again.

Habit Loops allow us to do what we do with less stress and worry.

The comfort they provide can also hold us back.

Habit loops can become confining

They can hold us back from trying new things, from learning and growing, from building relationships.

“This is the way we have always done it and there ain’t no reason to change”

The battle cry of those entrenched in the perpetuation of a confining Habit Loop.

Like most other things, Habit Loops be good or they can cause problems.

Depends on how we use them.

Habit Loops – “This process within our brains is a three-step loop. First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future.

Over time, this loop—cue, routine, reward; cue, routine, reward—becomes more and more automatic. The cue and reward become intertwined until a powerful sense of anticipation and craving emerges. Eventually, whether in a chilly MIT laboratory or your driveway, a habit is born.

Habits aren’t destiny. Habits can be ignored, changed, or replaced. But the reason the discovery of the habit loop is so important is that it reveals a basic truth: When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision-making. It stops working so hard, or diverts focus to other tasks. So unless you deliberately fight a habit—unless you find new routines—the pattern will unfold automatically.” ― Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

How Is Building Connections Different From Communicating?

Connecting with someone is a deeper and richer experience than just communicating with them.

Connections happen when what we see and hear resonates with what we feel.

Robert Frost said, “There are three things, after all, that a poem must reach: the eye, the ear, and what we may call the heart or the mind. It is most important of all to reach the heart of the reader.”

Just as with poetry, reaching the heart is essential to building connections that become relationships.

Somethings to think about:

How do you think people feel after they spend time with you?

Did you talk with or talk at them?

Are they better for the time you spent together? Are you?

Are they glad you came or glad you are gone? Why?

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” – Brené Brown

Do You Communicate With Words Or With People?

We don’t connect with people when we understand them.

We connect when they understand that we understand.

Listening for the message behind their words leads to deeper understanding.

When we understand the words, we are communicating.

When we understand the person, we are connecting.

“Communication is merely an exchange of information, but connection is an exchange of our humanity.” – Sean Stephenson