Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Yesterday, I wrote about how we need to stop comparing ourselves to others. Continuing with this same thought, we also spend way too much time judging others.

I guarantee, wherever you work, there is gossip. We constantly talk about the actions or thoughts of other people and how we agree, or more likely, disagree with them. We judge people everyday, often without even realizing what we are doing.

How can someone drive that fast? Why in the world would he leave all this work for me to do? Why can't they just do their job and quit talking? Why doesn't she brush his teeth more? How dare they lie to me! Why can't they just do their work? How could someone wear that out of the house? How can someone still smoke? How does someone eat that crap? What the hell is wrong with them?

We spend way too much time thinking about the actions of others and coming up with reasons why they should or shouldn't do something. The truth is none of us are perfect. There are literally millions of sayings and quotes dealing with this subject. None of us can really get in head of someone else, so we can't know the motivations of the people we are judging. Try giving people the benefit of the doubt.

We all have different motivations and passions and thought patterns and things we are dealing with. Maybe the person speeding and weaving through traffic is trying to get to the hospital because a loved one is dying. Maybe the person who didn't get all their tasks done and left some work for you was just served divorce papers. Maybe the person who lied to you didn't realize they were lying.

Every one of us makes mistakes. We all do things every day that someone else wouldn't do. We usually have our reasons for doing it, things no one else can really understand. We don't like to be judged, so why do we take so much pleasure in judging others? What makes us think we are better than any other person we meet?

We are all unique. We do things differently. Every set of circumstances is different. No two people faced with the same circumstances are going to do the exact same thing. Stop expecting every one else to do things the way you do. Stop believing that if you did something, everyone else can do the exact same thing in the exact same way.

This doesn't mean we can't have discussions about disagreements or things not getting done or ways to do things. These discussions shouldn't be about either person, but about the situation at hand. Take the ego out of it. Stop taking things personally. Worry more about living your life instead of criticizing others for the way they live theirs.

Monday, February 27, 2012


We spend way too much time comparing ourselves to others.

We do this in our personal life, even if we don't realize we are doing it. We compare ourselves to our friends and wonder how someone could be so much better off than we are. We compare ourselves to our neighbors and wish we had the nicer lawn or the nicer house or a nicer car. We compare ourselves to the people around us on a daily basis, wishing we were better looking, skinnier, in better shape, wealthier or smarter. We are constantly comparing ourselves to the people around us.

We do this in our professional life, both as individuals and as compaines. We wish we were more like our co-worker who seems to do better work or who got the promotion we wanted. We look at what we do based on things we did in the past, at other companies or in different situations. We look at competitors and wonder how we can be better then them, get more sales then them, build more than them, create more than them. We wonder how we can do what they are doing, but bigger and better.

There are always going to be people and companies who are better than us at something. There are always going to be people and companies we are better than. Go through your day and be aware of the number of times you compare yourself to others. See how this comparison makes you feel. Does it help you do better work? Does it help you feel good about yourself? Does it drive you to be more creative? Does it make you feel as if taking risks are okay?

Instead of constantly comparing yourself to others, look inside and see what it is that you want to do. You don't have to be like anyone else around you. You don't have to offer the products everyone else does. You don't have to offer the same services or the same prices or the same quality as everyone else around you. There are billions of differences between you and your neighbor or your company and your competitor. You are not capable of being exactly like them, so why would you compare yourself to them?

Each one of us is an individual. Each grouping of individuals into a company is distinctly different than any other company. We, both as individuals and as groupings, have different things to offer, different viewpoints, different needs, different driving forces and different passions. Instead of trying to be like someone else or trying to be better than someone else, try being true to you. You might just be surprised at what you have to offer the world if you stop comparing yourself to others and start doing what you want to do.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Comfort Zone

If something scares you, then it is probably worth doing. The best things in life are never the easiest nor the most risk averse. Do something every day that scares you. What have you done today?

When taking risks, getting out of our comfort zone or doing something new, we have the chance to learn more than we ever thought possible. Embrace the fear and run with it. This is the best way to grow and develop into the person you are supposed to be.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's Not About Perfection

During the last ten years, I have talked to a lot of people who are interested in adopting a plant-based diet. I have given everyone the same basic advice.

When you decide to switch to eating only plant-based foods, you can easily lose your mind and your will. You can read ingredient labels over and over. You can question every waitress in every restaurant about the animal ingredients in every menu item. You can constantly search the internet to find out where every ingredient comes from. You can easily become obsessed with your quest to be perfect.

It's not about perfection. Choosing to follow a plant-based diet is all about doing your best. If you slip up or accidentally eat something you did not want to eat, don't beat yourself up over it. Acknowledge it and move on. People are too worried about all or nothing. Ever little step you take to improve your diet is a win for you, the environment and the animals. It isn't about being perfect because no one is.

What if we utilized this advice in everything we do? How would we be different if we realized it isn't about being perfect, but about doing our best? How much more would we produce, ship or develop? How much better would our lives become if we were constantly striving to do our best instead of giving up every time something went wrong? What if we acknowledged mistakes, learned from them and just moved on?

Each of us has numerous things on our plate needing to get done. Many of us are terrified of not being perfect and don't do anything. I have heard from numerous people who haven't tried adopting a plant-based diet because they were scared they wouldn't be able to do it. There are tons of people who don't try any number of things because they are afraid they won't be good at them or they won't be able to do it perfectly. Don't let the idea of perfection hold you back from doing anything you really want to do.

Do your best...if you come up short or make a mistake or slip up, then acknowledge it, learn from it and start again. Don't strive for perfection, strive for doing your best. Every little bit counts more than you could ever know or measure.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lovers vs. Haters vs. Undecided

No matter your industry, you are going to have people who love you and people who hate you, but the vast majority of people won't have an opinion about you.

Too many times, we listen to the people who hate us. We respond to all their negative comments and they come right back with even more negative comments. We continue to respond and soon become frustrated because we can't change their misguided (or at least what we believe to be misguided) opinion and we fear their comments will damage our reputation.

Responding to them is fine, but don't get lost in an argument with haters. Explain why they are wrong (if they are) and move on. The back and forth helps no one and actually fuels the hater because someone is listening to them. It is much more important to communicate back and for with the people who love you and the people who don't yet have an opinion. You will never get the haters to like you, so don't waste your time. Use your time to build a relationship with people who will like you. Build a big enough group of people who love you and soon they will respond to the haters.

Most people recognize a troll as a troll. Responding to all of their hate gives them credibility. Spend your time engaging and developing fans and the trolls will move on.

Monday, February 20, 2012

180° South

In a weekend filled with watching some really good movies, 180˚ South takes the award for the best movie of the weekend. Part travel narrative and part environmental film, this documentary follows Jeff Johnson as he follows in the footsteps of Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins. Their 1968 journey of over 5,000 miles took them from California to Patagonia. Both of these well-traveled men still consider this journey "the trip of our lives."

Filled with amazing scenery, great characters, footage from the 1968 journey, lots of things to think about and a spectacular soundtrack, this is one of the best movies I have seen in a long, long time. You can't help but to continue to think about this movie after the credits roll.

Friday, February 17, 2012


If your words and your actions aren’t in the same realm, no one is going to trust anything you say or do.
The tricky thing with trust is it can only take one action to lose the trust of others, but many, many actions to gain this trust back. This is why you always need to be open and honest about your intent. To accomplish anything worthwhile, we have to be able to trust each other. Without trust, innovation and creativity die and are replaced with fear, disbelief, anger and a CYA environment. 
We all have been around people in our lives we can’t trust. The people who say one thing and do another. The people who tell you what a good job you are doing and tell everyone else how horrible you are. The people who will do anything to get results, except work hard. The people who lie about their intentions. The people who use anything they know about others against them. The people who instantly change the mood of a room as soon as they walk in.
When these people are in our personal life, the easiest thing to do is cut them loose. We don’t need this type of person bringing us down. But, when we have these people at work, it can be much trickier, unless we are the boss. If so, then cut them loose as well. These people will only destroy and will never offer anything to really move the company forward. Even if they get great results, in the long run, the attitude they spread is not worth it. If you are not in charge, then you have to be very careful around these people. Don’t let their attitude and negativity affect you. Don’t fall in to their trap of lies and deception, just be true to who you are and what you stand for. Hopefully, these people won’t last long when surrounded by honest, trustworthy people. 
Trust is one of the most important things in our life. If we can trust each other, then our partnerships are much more powerful. With powerful partnerships, we can do so much more than we could alone. It may be a part of who we are or it may be societal pressures, but most of us want partnerships. We look for people to share our lives with, both friends and lovers. We interact with hundreds of people every day. We have a commerce society built upon interactions with others. All of these relationships are built on trust. What would society be like if we couldn’t trust these other people?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Goals and Dreams

Many people are stuck in the thought they have to continue on the path they have chosen, they have to continue chasing the goals they set years ago, they are too old to follow new dreams.

We have put in a lot of work to get where we are now. When our dreams or goals change, it can be very hard to look back at all this work and give it up. In many cases, changing our goals midstream can mean moving on after putting in years of work or lots of money for schooling. This is a very hard choice for many people to make and most people stick with what they are doing instead of taking a risk.

Sometimes, we have to forget about all the time and money we have invested so far and follow a new path. We have to be open to making changes and chasing these new dreams and goals. It's not an easy thing to do, but nothing great in life is. Life sometimes means changing midstream and doing something new. The older we get and the longer we spend doing what we do, the harder this becomes.

We have to remember the money and the time invested isn't always wasted when chasing a new dream. This money and experience has taught us a lot and this knowledge can be utilized when chasing new goals. We may not use the degrees or the actual skills, but everything we have learned about who we are and what we are capable of doing is useful on any path we follow. Chase what makes you feel alive. Be bold and set new goals. Dream new dreams. Never give up on finding what you want to do.

Monday, February 13, 2012

It Isn't Always Easy

Being great at what you do doesn't come easily. When other people are slacking off, you have to suck it up and do the work. When other people quit because something is too hard, you push through to succeed. When other people just get the task done, you do it well. When other people complain, you smile and keep on trucking. When other people blame the world for things going wrong, you don't play the blame game and instead keep doing great work. When other people fear failure, you take everything as a learning experience.

Being great at what you do doesn't come easily, but it is worth all the effort.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Life is about living fully.
Life is about being yourself.
Life is about taking chances.
Life is about being passionate.
Life is about trying new things.
Life is about doing your best work.
Life is about finding what you love.
Life is about rolling with the punches.
Life is about doing more today than yesterday.
Life is about trying to make this world a little better.

Our life is meant to be lived, truly lived. Trust yourself, grab hold and live each day fully. We've only got one shot at doing it right, so forget about the fears and start truly living!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Before you can know what you want to do, you really need to know who you are. Many of us stumble through life without ever really knowing what it is that makes us tick. We have been placed in to categories our entire life. After a while, we start believing these categories define us.

Yes, we all have labels. These labels may define a little portion of who we are, but nothing really encompasses our whole being. Political affiliations or beliefs or job titles or life choices can all be labels, but we are so much more than just one label. We have to stop thinking of ourselves in black and white terms...we are many things rolled in to one package.

Spend some time really learning about you. Strip away all the labels and figure out what really makes you tick. Look deep inside and see what dreams and hopes you have pushed down and locked away. Don't let your true being hide behind labels. You can't be described with simple categories, so don't try. Figure out who you really are and then look for what you should do. Become comfortable with your true self and a world of possibilities will open.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Chasing vs Running Away

In yesterday's post, I wrote about the importance of knowing what you are chasing. While this is necessary, it doesn't always mean you know what the next move will be. We all have defined goals (or if you don't, start defining them now), but we don't always know what each step will be to bring us closer to these goals.

When we make any change in life, when any door closes, we don't always know which new doors will open. We will never know how each action is going to change things, but as long as we stay alert to the possibilities, we can keep moving forward. Closing a door is hard. Making the decision to move on is hard. Stepping out from the ledge and falling in to the abyss of possibility is hard (and can be quite scary).

Just keep pushing forward. With defined goals, we know what we are chasing even if we don't know how to get there. Every day, things will change and we have to remain open to the possibilities. The key is to make sure you are chasing and not running away. When we run away, we are trying to move forward without keeping our head up and our eyes fixed on the possibilities. It's impossible to really move forward when you are running away and our problems always seem to catch up.

Before making a change, make damn sure you aren't just running from your problems. Know what you want and chase it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Know What You're Chasing

When we become frustrated or disillusioned, too many of us hope some change will drop from the sky and fall into our lap. We bitch and moan about how we aren't happy with what we are doing or wish we could do more. Most of us never move past the bitching and moaning stage and spend our lives trying to deal with the disappointment.

Change is never going to fall from the sky and land in our laps. Things will never magically get better if we don't do something about it. If you want a change, make a change. This doesn't always mean quit; this may mean make the changes you want to see. Sometimes, we do have to quit and search for something better, something that matters to us.

Many times, though, we have to take what we are doing and make it better. We have to make the changes we want to see. We have to turn what we are doing into something magical for us. This isn't easy, but people do this each and every day. These people are no better than you and me, they just know bitching and moaning does nothing to make things better. Figure out what needs to change and change it. Look within and find the happiness and do it. Most of us are doing what we, at one time, enjoyed doing. Before running away, look to see what you can change to bring back the old feelings.

If you find it, great! If not, then start searching for something else to make you happy. Look inside first. Quit second. We can't spend our lives chasing something if we don't know what that something is.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Right Now

It's time to stop worrying so damn much and actually start living. If you don't like something, change it. This is your life, live it in the way you think is right. Don't compare yourself to others. Other people may judge you for your decisions, don't listen to them. Don't worry about what other people think.

Right now, decide to start living the life you want to live.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl

As New England and New York get ready to take the field, millions of people are preparing to watch two teams playing at the top of their game. These are some of the best football players in the world, getting paid to do what they love. There is a little luck involved, but every one of these players have put in tens of thousands of hours of work getting to this point.

Think about your job. Are you willing to put this much work in to what you do for a living? We admire people who have put in the work and who have done amazing things. Instead of just admiring, maybe we should learn from their example. We can learn from their perseverance and their dedication and their work ethic. We all need to find what we love to do; something we love so much we are willing to put in tens of thousands of hours of work perfecting.

If you are watching the Super Bowl today, enjoy the game and think about how much work it took for each of these players to get to the big game. Think a little about what matters to you and what it is that makes you want to put in the work.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Empty Houses

Even if this is exaggerated (but I pulled some information from across the web and it doesn't seem to be), this is just plain wrong. I know there are a lot of people in this country who blame the poor for being poor. These people like to mention the fact that they made it with hard work and the poor should do the same. Yes, they may have put in the hard work, but I am sure they all received a little help along the way. When someone stumbles, we will often reach out a hand to help them up. This isn't offering them something they don't deserve; helping someone who stumbles and falls is just the right thing to do.

If we are ever going to be the strong, unified country most of us want, something has to change.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Stop Putting It Off

Life has a funny way of speeding by when we aren't looking. The older we get, the faster it seems to speed by. Too often, we put off doing what we want to make time for what we think we need to do (or even worse, we put off what we want for wasting time).

If you want to travel, travel. If you want to write, write. If you want to move to another state or country, move. If you want to learn something new, learn. Stop putting off doing the things you want to do thinking you can always do it later. You have no idea what tomorrow will bring.

The last thing we want to do is look back on our life and wish we had done all the things we just never got around to doing. Most people spend their entire lives waiting until tomorrow to do the things they want to do. I say start today. Make an effort, take a first step. When it comes time to leave this world, leave it with a lifetime of memories and not with a lifetime of regrets.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Battling Negativity

I'll be the first to admit, some days it is just harder to attack the work with my best. It could be that I don't feel well or I am frustrated by something or someone or I am just out of sorts. On these days, I have to be extra sensitive to where my mind goes as it is very easy to become negative.

When any of us become negative in our thoughts, problems seem to compound. We start taking things personally, we are incapable of doing our best work and we often become more and more negative. When one thing goes wrong, we start seeing more and more things go wrong. When this happens, we have to instantly recognize it and work to pull ourselves out of this negative mindset.

Each person has their own ways of trying to eliminate the negativity as they feel it creep steadily in. Some people will meditate, some people exercise, some people just move around for a while, some people do breathing exercises, some people find ways to laugh and some people will do any number of other things. What works for you when you start to feel the negativity taking hold?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Getting what you want and where you want takes hard work and time. There are no shortcuts and no get rich quick schemes along the path.

If you want to do what you dream, you will shed blood, sweat and tears. You will toil along and may want to quit multiple times along the way. You will have doubts. But, if you see it through to the end, you will be happy you did. Do you want to put in the work?