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I used to collect stickers…business stickers

Passion, joy and something to look forward to is an anecdote to anxiety. When I was 8 years old, a couple friends and I would call up local businesses and ask if they could send us a few of their business stickers. We got a lot of – what? Pardon? You want what? When I think of it now, it sounds a little absurd. On the other hand, we were very committed. We repeated exactly what we were up to and why we wanted the stickers with no apologies. “We collect business stickers. We have a big album. We have them from all over Alberta.” (My home province in Canada). Shiny ones were the best. Often long haul trucking companies had sparkly ones, even better. Some people would take our address and pop them in the mail. Others would ask us to send them an envelope with return postage. Either was good.  We ended up getting a surprise in the mail and split the stickers. Maybe I am thinking about it more as Tess starts …


(Image from Time Magazine) There has been a flood of support honoring Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Especially in this time of divide, she was a shining example of courage, truth, and serving others. In addition to that, she has been fighting for women’s rights and equality for decades. She has inspired millions of people. Crisis creates opportunity. It was never going to be easy to get this country back on track.  In passing, she has left us a north star to aspire to. A responsibility to act. To vote. Obstacles were coming in the next 60 days. There are more coming. How can you meet them as an unbreakable force? With her example, what action will you take today and in the coming weeks to overcome obstacles and defeat average? Like all the kind accolades for RBG in her passing, you deserve them to when you pass. How do you want people to remember you when you die? What would you like them to say about you? Are you honoring those words and the path to get …

Doing what you hate to do, but do it like you love it

(Image by Glenn Francis) “Doing what you hate to do, but do it like you love it” – Mike Tyson  Coming back to box at age 54 and he hasn’t sparred in 15 years. When asked on the Joe Rogan podcast about the experience of coming back to box and why he’s doing it he said (my summary): I was out of shape and wanted to feel better. Getting back in shape was the first step that leads to the next. More energy and more fire inside. Once the fire was lit I wanted to see how far I could push myself.  When asked how it’s felt: Painful, humbling, exhilarating! In order to train at that level you need to do what you hate to do, but do it like you love it! Wise words What is in your way that you hate to do but know it’s necessary to get to your big hairy audacious goal? Defeating Average. Colin

What is your self talk?

Life is the story you tell yourself. Do you believe in yourself? Do you have the confidence to achieve your goals? Are you focusing on what you can control? The theory of self-efficacy (contributed to by a world-class psychologist who grew up an hour from where I grew up!) refers to “an individual’s belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments. Self–efficacy reflects confidence in the ability to exert control over one’s own motivation, behavior, and social environment.” Albert Bandura is widely described as the greatest living psychologist, and as one of the most influential psychologists of all time. With that in mind, here are some questions that have helped me. What is the learning opportunity here? What does success look like today? Who needs me on my A-game? What brings me energy and life? Defeating inaction, and status quo and the average inside. Colin  

Three ways to reset the day

Two weeks ago my week flowed smoothly. I was happy with it. Last week roared up and down like a 6 flags roller coaster. One day good, one day full of angst and frustration.  The same day after day. It was frustrating.    How can we reset?   Here are three ways that work for me:   1. Put the technology down and carve out 5-10 minutes to close my eyes and just breathe. Count to 10 breaths repeat. Reset.   2. Get outside and go for a walk. Put the technology away and just breathe in fresh air.    3. Close the computer, iPhone early, and go to bed early. It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep will do. Begin again.   Bonus if I can read for 20 minutes before bedtime. I sleep better and wake even more refreshed.    We are all better being present together.    Defeating Average.   Colin

Who is in your guest house?

I was reading a poem by Rumi this weekend. It reminds all of us to be with whatever is brought to us, in joy or challenge, fear, or frustration. Accept the road ahead, we are all on our own journey.  What can I be grateful for today? The Guest House This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice. meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whatever comes. because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.   — Jellaludin Rumi,   We are all in this together.  Defeating Average. Colin  

Every day is the same 

Many people have shared this sentiment. I feel it too. We are all watching endless Netflix series, navigating the same challenges with our children, or missing connections with friends. The world can feel kind of drab. However, there has never been a more important year to stand for equality and to turn society around. To build that inner resilience for the winter that is coming…and the next time this virus rears its ugly head. Times are tough. Tougher for some more than others. If you are doing ok, reach down and help somebody out. It will feel good and they will appreciate it. If you need a hand, reach up. We’ve all been there. I’ve been there. Two questions for you. What brings me energy? What brings me life? Sprinkle that into your days going forward. Make every day full of the same life and energy. We are better together. Colin

Let the piano keys do the talking

I was watching my wife play the piano with our daughter Tess recently. We were in Hyannis Port at a friend’s house. She hasn’t played in a while but it didn’t take her long to get reacquainted. She felt out the keys and then played something simple that Tess could try and follow along. I’ve also seen her play beside people who play the Piano well and she plays at a more complex level. She has the feel and muscle memory based on the situation. It had me thinking about how we lead people or how we lead without title. When you play at the beginner level, putting two or three keys together, you may use one skill in conversion. You learn through practice different key combinations for another skill and soon you have options. With much practice instead of thinking what key combination or skill am I going to use in this conversation, you look at the person in the eye, and listen to what they need. Then you let your hands find the …

Pedal Power and the Fly Wheel

I heard a great description on my peloton ride the other day.  “You get your power at three and five O’Clock as you push, not at six O’Clock.”  Similar I thought, at nine and eleven on the clock when you pull up through (in clipped shoes). To me, the three and five is like the momentum we get with the right daily practice (Breathe, Dream, Move) before we actually start our first meeting in the morning (like the six position on the clock).  Without being mindful, setting your intention for the day, and moving the body to tap into your inner wisdom, you are starting the day cold.  If you don’t warm the body and mind, you may miss the momentum to accelerate and spin the flywheel…through lunch, and the mid-afternoon doldrums. You may need to resent and start from scratch. An early afternoon mindful minute or getting outside for a walk and breath of fresh air, keeps the flywheel going.  We are in this together.  Defeating Average.  Colin

When the student is ready the teacher will appear

“When the student is ready the teacher will appear” has been attributed to Buddha and other theologists. What does this mean to me? When the student is ready to acknowledge his or her ego has been in the way and are ready to set it aside with a laser-focus and pivot to a growth mindset, the teacher will appear. When you are not open to learning or feel like you know all the answers, the real answers will stay clouded and out of reach. The student may realize that the answers are everywhere at every moment and so many people can be teachers. In order to crush the average inside stay open to be teachable, coachable, and receptive to learning when you least expect it. We are all struggling with something right now. Keep taking one small step forward each day in this anxiety-ridden and challenging marathon of life.     We are in this together.   Defeating Average.   Colin