Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ramen Noodles

I recently had an opportunity to talk about "going the extra mile," which Napoleon Hill in his life research supports, and sometimes living "outside the box," which I am known to do in creative thought.

This is what came to me:

Going the extra mile sometimes means living outside the box.
To do so is less than common.
I probably began wanting the success outcomes it brings
When I realized that excellence meant steak and not just Ramen.

Going, Going, Gone!!

Everyone knew it would happen.   February is a breath away from gone.   New opportunities come with each new season...really, with each new day.  They will soon come marching in.  

So, I'm headed to the mountains to gather with my family to ski as one last hurrah for winter.   Family playtime is a gift that goes on forever, at least in families where the recognition of joy and priority are made.   I am so glad we did.   I think my sons held me accountable when they were young if I became too task focused on the business of living.  

Play is a way that young children rehearse the skills for life.  Play is a way that people can focus outside their life issues and just enjoy the moment.  Play brings laughter and that in itself promotes joy and health.  

Play happens in community and that speaks to a definition of family that expands caring about others.   I'm glad that there is a little girl with red hair in one of our family pictures taken at the Michael and Laura wedding last fall.  She is the niece of the new bride.  But my affection for the photo is related beyond new kin to a statement that our family will be open enough so others can join.  This diversity and inclusion will be honored on our ski weekend.  

Love really doesn't know bounds.  Fortunately, it is not like February 2013, which has come and gone.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Quotable Quotes

It is pretty well known that I can usually be found with a book in hand. It's interesting that I will read most any thing of quality....except directions. I keep a mental list of email addresses and phone numbers ready at hand for this very reason.

Last week I was reading Linked In business articles and found these great quotes. I hope I have given credit to the right people.  The ideas seemed thought provoking enough to pass along.

Failure isn't the worst outcome.   Mediocrity is!
Tim O'Reilley

Pursue something so important that even if you fail, the world is better off with you having tried.
Drew Houston, Dropbox

Life is short. We have a limited amount of time to achieve our potential.

In business, there is danger of "ramen profitability." The company is making enough money that the founder can live on Ramen Noodles.

Friday, February 1, 2013

High Notes

High Notes
February 2013

Real estate is one of my many passion interests.  I recently met with a Realtor to discuss marketing for a parcel of family land and some potential changes that we wanted to review.  Of course, we analyzed all the variables!   I smiled today as I pondered the meeting because the "take it apart" analysis has been a part of my strategy repertoire for a long time. 

One of my first applications of this process involved the choosing of music for the CD, Hello! Come Fly With Me.  My goal in this writing and music project, which I have spoken of before, was exploring the concept of transformation.  People change.   Circumstances change.   Life changes.  In writing the essence of the book, I had already found (in my imagination) Abigail the Butterfly and Timothy the Dragonfly, who both portrayed friendship characters.  The story had unfolded.

So, when it came time for the music, I made a very long list of all the musical sounds, phrases, feelings, songs, and associations that came to me when I thought of wings and flight.  I ended up with grace notes, triplets, glissandos, trills, and long flying finger runs up and down the keyboard.  At one point I even thought about rockets and space ships and found a Bach Invention, ultimately played as a duet with one of my sons, that represented super fast flying fingers.  My closing piece on the CD was a Mozart Sonata that had fast fingers in some parts but was chosen primarily because it reminded me of the mood that is set by a pilot who announces in a gentle voice that we have reached a 37,000 feet cruising altitude.   He hopes we will sit back and enjoy the flight!   Enjoyment and inspiration was my hope for the music listeners...listening to the CD and in life. 

One of my favorite memories is the process of transforming the music and story into a black light staged production, used in churches and this time at a school program for 900 students.  Two students were dressed in black and animated the characters, which had been built by graphic artist Randy Herget.  While the music played, trained voice over theater people, my son and a friend, told the story of Wings to Fly which we had recorded.   Thank you Michael and Molly.   The story, Wings to Fly, is really about believing in yourself and embracing differences in others as you find your way through life.

Of course, at the meeting with Andy the Realtor this week, he offered me paper when I reached for a napkin to jot my notes.   But I really love napkins as an awesome way to collect and take apart ideas in all directions, whatever is being discussed.   I have been cautioned by friends about using a napkin in my pocket for a sneeze because they know I may have some treasured idea written on it!  It is likely that somewhere there is a napkin with notes about wings.

As you know from other newsletters, this process is called divergent thinking and is the absolute balance to convergent thinking.  I say it a lot.   When making decisions, take the idea apart in as many variables or dimensions as you can think of or tolerate!   Then build a process, which represents your values, to make your choices based on your divergent thinking.  The process will lead you to a level of wisdom that brings satisfaction and enjoyment.

Circling back to the CD, after I made the list of types of sounds that would reflect wings and flight, I needed to make music choices with these reflections.   I knew what I was looking and listening for!  When it was all done I had the satisfaction of engineering the process as well as the enjoyment of the music.

I know the product was packaged because of what I needed to do and learn at that time.   But creative work always touches somebody somewhere somehow.   I am grateful.

It's all amazing.   I love the thought of sharing the joy.