All posts filed under: Success

Honey Makes Me Wiggle

I was making a lunch snack for my daughter this morning and I asked her the typical question. Would you like almond butter and honey or almond butter and jam? She shook her head and came over and pointed at the honey. Almond butter and honey I said.  She shook her head no, “just honey.” Why, I said? “I don’t like Almond Butter.” But you have always liked Almond Butter I said. “I just want honey. Honey makes me wiggle.” Fair enough! As I am learning, things change often with kids. What was true one week is not true the next. What worked yesterday, may not work tomorrow. Accepting that as true with my daughter makes life easier.  I am focused on staying a little curious a little longer and treating each day with a beginner’s mind.   Defeating Average.   Colin

Chosen Family

We were at a NYC afternoon get together for friends that support the arts and formed a non profit during the pandemic. It was my wife’s group and I was tagging along to keep our 3 year old Tess amused.  It was a beautiful brownstone with a big wall of books all the way along one side and brick on the other.  My goal was to keep Tess from disturbing the adults and make sure my wife could have a good time. I’m on the introverted side by nature and pull myself across to the extrovert side for work and get-togethers. It takes (and uses up my energy) to build small talk with groups of people.  After a number of puzzle games and Tess and I grazing on snacks, I picked her up and brought her into some conversations. She’s a natural connector! I found myself getting re-acquainted with small talk and finding out how people spend their work weeks and what brought them together as a group. Good people, wanting to give back to …

The Right Trail

I spent the last week hiking 100 miles through Death Valley with my running Mentor Ray Zahab and 4 other hikers and a support guide.    “Keeping on the same trail with easy terrain can seem like the right way, but you need to have the courage to follow your way points, what you know is true and take on tougher terrain to prioritize safety, hydration and success. Committing to the wrong path can be deadly.”   Ray crossed the Canadian Arctic three times, the landmass of Antarctica and ran 4,500 miles across the Sahara Desert in 100 days in 2009, which was turned into a film “Running the Sahara” narrated by Matt Damon. In 2011, 2014 and 2018 he crossed Death Valley North to South and East to West at the hottest time of the year, in July. Death Valley is the lowest altitude on earth, down to 250 feet below sea level and has been measured as the hottest place on earth. Earlier this year 134 F!   Ray is the only person …

I visualized being at the top for three years 

“I visualized being at the top of Everest for three years until I was.” Ricky Singh (Indian / American Entrepreneur) We sat around the dinner table talking about our first day on the expedition and someone ask Ricky “we heard you climbed Everest in 2019, tell us about the experience.” He said “I climbed for 6 weeks every spring in Nepal with the team I assembled over three years. We practiced our skills and build trust constantly. When back in the US I spent a little time each night visualizing success. I saw myself at the top. I saw through any obstacles. Skills will only get you so far in Everest. You need belief in yourself, confidence you can handle anything that comes your way.” As we hiked Death Valley this week he got me thinking about my values. Trust, learning, exploration. Trust and learning have always been my top two. For me part of exploration is courage. Ricky exemplifies courage and learning. To be different, think differently, challenge boundaries. He was one of the most curious …

Welcome Unanticipated Problems

“Anticipate and welcome the unanticipated problems and permit an exercise into transcendence vs. tragedy. Take out the negative energy and turn it into action.”   I have been listening to Ken Burns interviews as he prepares to launch his PBS 4 part series on Muhammad Ali!  I can’t wait.   From a legendary documentary filmmaker, words of wisdom on how he prepares for films for life.   Defeating Average.   Colin

Are you a leader of tomorrow?

What is life?    What’s it for?   There is a lot of ambiguity in the world right now. We are coming out of lock down. Life is getting back to normal. There is a new virus variant, we may be retracting, putting more strict measures back in place?   One thing is certain. Nothing is certain right now.   How does that make you feel?   Uneasy, confused, despondent.   I think we have all felt these emotions. I certainly have.   We are entering a new uncertain future.   The leaders of tomorrow (and this includes leading yourself and your family), are people who can adapt, pivot, grow, learn.   Attitude can lead you through ambiguity. Recovery for mind and body can lead you to the right results. Living (and showing others how) through your values leads to victory. Understanding and empathy helps lead you over the mountain pass of uncertainty.   We are all in it together. Help one another.   I will be on PTO for the rest of the week …

Here’s the rarest type of employee—and why they outperform everyone else

It was after two years of really great success for me and then two years of failure that had me look in the mirror and reevaluate how I approached business. My secret sauce of being a great hardware seller hit a wall in 2008 when every purchase by customers was scrutinized to the nth degree. I realized I need to learn more…myself, from my peers and other people in the industry. I had some solid skills and was not sharing what I knew freely with other people. One day I decided I was going to give away my best ideas to my peers (and who I somewhat saw as competitors), pay it forward, and ask for help in the process. What I quickly realized is my two hot pieces of secret sauce were dwarfed in a good way by the 10 nuggets of wisdom I quickly got back. From that day forward #growthmindset was my number one focus. I believe we are at this inflection point again. The world is too complex and companies are …

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe, Tennis hall of fame player, and presidential medal of freedom recipient I heard this quote today and it made me think of many different stages of my life. If I could go back to my younger self and give me this advice I would have said. Start where you can Focus on learning everyday Realize momentum builds over time and taking the first step is the key Use what you have Use your stubbornness and discipline and commit to one big thing to improve  every year Keep it simple, life gets complex over time Do what you can Pay it forward to others and reap the benefits over the next 10 years Help one person every week Put your oxygen mask on first every day Defeating Average.   Colin

Are you missing out on opportunity?

Pull your toes on the way up, push through your quads on the way down and widen the circle.   Good advice from Peloton instructor Sam Yo last week on one of my regular spin classes. He was focusing on potential range of motion, power, and output. It made me think about how that applies to life.   You can look at it like 7 pieces of a pie in the wheel of life.  Spirituality Career Finance Family Learning Health and Wellness Friend and Community   If you are not getting your full range of motion, power and output in each area, you are missing out on opportunities.   None of us will be hitting 10/10 in all areas and not even close.   When we think about how much of the pie and landscape we are covering we can put a spotlight on the areas we would like to focus on…and perhaps pull our toes up a little more.   Where are you doing well? Where can you expand that circle?   Defeating Average. …

Are you anticipating where the puck is going?

“Skate to where the puck is going, not to where it has been.” I was watching Master Class last week and they have a new series with Wayne Gretzky. I was fortunate, I grew up where he played the first decade of his career in Edmonton. He is one of hockey’s greatest players, if not the greatest, depending on your view. When asked why he was so good at the game of hockey, he famously said: “I skated to where the puck was going, not to where it had been.” He was talking about anticipation. Perhaps his greatest asset. People used to say he had eyes in the back of his head.  In an episode in Master Class which I highly recommend (for hockey fans this series is worth the cost alone!), he talks about how his father Walter was ahead of his time in thinking about the game. “I remember I was watching hockey on Saturday nights and my dad would say, I want you to watch the play, and draw where the puck …