My Jabberwock

April 20, 2006

Here is a wonderful poem written by a wonderful friend, Susanne Goldstein. It beautifully describes the oneness of everything. Enjoy.

It was neither tall nor short. Open or shut.
The dark helped the light and the light signified change and healing.
It wasn’t really bad or good or narrow. Maybe the middle.
Or perhaps the edge.
Depending on leanings and dealings and the crest of the moon.
It wasn’t really in or out, or up or down.
The magic
The mystery,
The plain vanilla fantasy.
It was and it wasn’t.
It can and it won’t be.
The hot-side-jump-jive-get-no-sleep-damn-pride or
the slow-beat-noodle’s-steeped-couch-is-deep-heavy-sigh.
It’s all one.

My Jabberwock (c) 1997 Susanne Goldstein

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Life Coming Full Circle

April 18, 2006

Did you ever feel forced to abandon your childhood dreams and end the pursuit of what you really wanted? Often circumstances in life derail our desired course; however when it comes to aspirations, we have the ability to navigate a new course to fulfill our dreams. While this new path (and perhaps the outcome) may look different than we had originally expected, it is often better than we had imagined.

I recently had dinner with Doug Busch, the former Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Intel. This was our first chance to reconnect face to face since our first meeting back in 2003. Those of you who read the book know Doug’s story. It is the perfect example of how a childhood dream manifested itself through the most unlikely of paths. Here’s a condensed version of his life story.

When Doug entered college as a biology major, his ambition was to win the Nobel prize for inventing a new blockbuster drug or for some major contribution to the medical field. After two years of studying biology, he decided to try something different. His experiences led him from picking fruit and working in a poultry processing plant to mechanical engineer and CIO of Intel.

When I first met Doug, he was still in his CIO role. Since then, he has changed positions and is now the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Intel’s Digital Health Group. Over dinner, Doug reflected on how his life has come full circle. When he was younger he wanted to make a contribution to the medical field. In his latest role, he is able to do this, possibly with even greater impact than had he stayed with his original goal of winning a Nobel prize. He now works for one of the most powerful companies in the world. By leveraging their power, he is able to make significant contributions to the medical field.

Sometimes we abandon our childhood dreams not because of a lack of interest, but rather unfortunate circumstances. One woman I met always wanted to be a TV talk show host. A college professor squelched that idea when he told her she had no talent. Instead she went on the path to become a writer and editor. Recently she started to do volunteer work for a local charitable organization. And in this role, she is frequently on television, rekindling her old passion and taking her back full circle.

What did you want to do as a child? Is there a way of going full circle back to that dream – even though it may look quite different than you originally imagined?

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Letter from a Dear Friend

April 14, 2006

I recently received an email from a great friend of mine from London, Kate. Last time we spoke, she had an amazing, high profile job that was perfect for her; it was her calling. And she was loving living in London — her home of many years after she left Australia. It had been over a year since our last communication. Below is a portion of her email. This is a great example of “trusting that you are never lost.” Sometimes leaping before you look can lead to wonderful results.

Worlds change as mine did when I least expected it. I met a gorgeous man with whom I fell in love with and to whom I am now engaged. We met over a year ago and within 2 weeks we knew that “this was it.” So simple at the end of the day. He was from Germany, and was living and working in London. Soon after we met, he was called back to Germany. A really hard time given that we had only been together for 4 months.

So, I made the big decision to leave my job – which was a very big “at the time” decision – to move to Germany. We now live in Munich and I absolutely love it.

What became apparent was that the “big” decision was at the end of the day a small decision — as things tend to be when you look at your life, stepping back, to recognize all of the new opportunities that make themselves apparent when you let go and free fall a bit. It’s just the leap of faith that is the hardest thing to do. Once you have committed yourself to letting go, to moving forward in a new direction, the new wheels start turning and all of your personal resources kick in to make it work. Funny that.

Kate is getting married May 6th.

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Let Go of ‘Tunnel’ Focus

April 13, 2006

In Tuesday’s (April 11) Investor’s Business Daily, there is a great article on Goal-Free Living. Due to copyright restrictions, I can’t include the whole article. Here is the intro…

While goals are undoubtedly some of the most effective means of triggering action, it’s important not to get too single-minded and limit your opportunities.

So says Stephen Shapiro, a self-described “goalaholic” and founder of The 24/7 Innovation Group. He spent the summer of ’03 traveling and interviewing executives, students, athletes and “ordinary people with extraordinary lives” to learn their secrets to achieving big dreams.

Over and over, he found, “It isn’t about goals or about ambition. Instead, the secret is to treat your life like an unplanned and unpredictable trip down a scenic, winding country road.”

It’s a gutsy claim, but surveys conducted by Shapiro’s company — with the assistance of the Opinion Research Corp. of Princeton, N.J. — reveal that goals alone just might not be enough.

Forty-one percent of 1,310 polled said achieving their goals hasn’t made them happier. One in five admitted to ruining a friendship, marriage or relationship because of a goal, and one in three lost sleep.

To read the rest, you need to be an subscriber.

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Quote of the Day

April 11, 2006

“Bel far niente” — The Italian expression for “the beauty of doing nothing”

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Cool “Goal-Free” Product

April 10, 2006

When I was in California (where else?) I bought a Buddha Board. Here’s the description:

“Buddha Board is based on the Zen concept of living in the moment. You simply paint on the surface with water and your creation will come to life in bold design. Then, as the water slowly evaporates, your art will magically disappear leaving you with a clean slate and a clear mind – ready to create a whole new masterpiece. Allow yourself to ‘let go’ and not be concerned with each outcome – live for the moment and enjoy!”

Goal-free and fun!

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Goal-Free Dating: Part 2

April 3, 2006

Back on February 14th, I published a blog entry on “Goal-Free Dating.” One of the points I made was to “Stop doing. Instead of signing up for 40 different online dating sites, going on 90 dates in 30 days, ending up broke & miserable – and still without a relationship, let it go. Go to events without the goal of meeting your spouse. Rather go there to have a good time and to meet new people.”

Ok, I’m guilty. In the past, I ignored my own advice and joined several online dating sites. Although I met some wonderful women – several of whom are still good friends – I never ended up in a long-term relationship. The last time I was on a dating site was over a year ago.

Today I was going through some archived emails and found emails from 29 women with whom I corresponded through a dating site. Each of these emails had their profile name, enabling me to check to see if they were still active on the site. It has been over a year, so I expected the number to be quite low. I assumed people would either be in a relationship after all of this time, or they would have given up and tried something other than the dating site. I was surprised. 19 women – 66% — still had active profiles on the site!

I have my theories for why this might be true. 1) Online dating creates the opposite of a scarcity mentality. It creates an over-abundance mentality. Because you have so many people to choose from, you begin to idealize your potential mate, leading to constant dissatisfaction. Hey, if this date isn’t perfect, then maybe the next one will be. 2) People on the online dating sites are not really ready for a relationship, even though they think they are. Rather they enjoy the chase, the attention, or the early stages of the relationship. 3) Quite simply, they have not yet met the right person. Had they not been on online, maybe they would have been “playing more” and found someone elsewhere. Maybe not. 4) Or maybe the “goal” of being in an “idealized” relationship – and trying hard to achieve the goal – is exactly what stops us from being successful.

What are your thoughts/theories on this?

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