Who is That Coffee for?

I recently told the Barista at Starbucks that my name was Bob when they were looking for a name to write on the cup.  It started when my friend Len started doing it because the Barista always got his name wrong (not sure how you can screw up Len).

My deviant Starbucks behaviour gave me a thrill.  I was Bob the Americano drinker.   It was fun to be called someone else, to live another coffee life, to make up another story, and try on another name to see how it fits for a while.  Perhaps next time I’ll be Donald (as in Donald Draper)  and live the life of a high powered 1950′s ad man (even if it will only be for a few moments). :)
Who would you be to the Barista next time?

What’s your name? :)

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Being More About Fishing

I recently discovered (with the help of my coach) a great truth in my life about how I fish and how I lead my life when I’m not fishing.

  1. When I go fishing, I often get to a lake, river or stream unprepared and without expectation, I just wade out and cast my line.
  2. When I go fishing, my gear typically hasn’t been checked or inspected and my flies haven’t been sorted.  I often find out when I’m on the lake that I missing that one fly that I was hoping to use – I shrug it off and stay and fish anyway.
  3. When I go fishing, I usually go alone.  I love the quiet solitude and the freedom to fish (or not) when I am out there floating.
  4. In the winter before I go fishing, I read through three books that I read almost religiously every year before the season.  I set my sights on a new body of water to try my luck – and I dream.
Photo by Kirsty Knudson

Photo by Kirsty Knudson

Fishing gives me solitude, freedom, relaxation, confidence and a quiet acceptance of everything around me.  No need for control, plans or expectation.  Taking fishing to the rest of my life would be life changing and all those wonderful things I mentioned before.

Being more about fishing is more about values and priorities.  Being true and unreserved.  What is your fishing moment?

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Tell One Person

photo by Kirsty Knudson

photo by Kirsty Knudson

It is so simple to influence, share and generate change in this amazingly connected world.  After watching KONY 2012 I realized we all can make whatever difference or impact that motivates us, regardless of the magnitude.  Reaching one new person each day or week can create a staggering network of awareness within one year.  Reaching one person can create staggering awareness within one life!  If you are a Facebook user, how often have you “liked” a comment or status?  Imagine something you believe in, something that you are passionate about, something that you want to share.  Isn’t that a better way to use Facebook or any other form of social media?

Watching The Lorax this weekend with my kids conveyed a similar message.  The message was simple and powerful and was only one word – “unless”.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to get better. It’s not.”

photo by Kirsty Knudson

photo by Kirsty Knudson

Last week I made a slight change in my daily routine.  I attempted to simplify my day by watching no television.  Instead of lying on the coach and watching TV till I could barely keep my eyes open, I had more meaningful conversations with my wife, I read that book that was staring at me for the past two months on my bedside table and I reflected about what I was passionate about and I began blogging again.  I also got out of bed this evening struck with an idea for a website called telloneperson.org.  I registered it. :)

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A Step Back to Simplicity

“In response to people saying you can’t go back say well what happens when you get to the cliff and you take one step forward or, you do 180 degree turn and take…one step forward which way are you going? which is progress?” - Doug Tompkins (Founder of North Face)

Movies are great.  They move, transform and build on your imagination.  Last night I watched the movie 180° South and it inspired me to write again.  The film is about Jeff Johnson and his journey retracing the epic 1968 adventure of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia.  It was easy to get awestruck by the great cinematography however it was the will, drive and passion of every single character in the film that caught me and my own imagination.

In the movie, Yvon said, “the hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex.”

Tomorrow is Monday and for many, it is one of the hardest days of the week.  Mondays are usually met with a laundry list of commitments, scheduled events or activities and filled with many things that exhaust us before we even start.  Sunday nights are often sleepless for me for many of the same reasons.

As a challenge to myself, I am going to simplify my life this week.  No TV after 8pm, I will read, write or have conversation with my family or even play a game.  I will not schedule anything for me to do other than be at home.  I will wake up in the morning and focus on the moment and not the day ahead of me.  I will take a 180 degree turn and walk back to simplicity.

I will blog within the week and release the results of my week. :)

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Staring at Stars

I am a sci-fi geek.  I love all things space.  Earlier this year on  Jan 3, I ventured out past the Calgary city limits late one evening to see the meteor shower.  It was a little disappointing as I only saw three as the lights of the city were still quite bright.  Despite the slight disappointment with the shower,  I was still content to sit out there in the complete quiet of a cold winter night starring up at the sky with hope.

Is it hope, longing, or just plain awe that draws us to the skies?  Is it the countless possibilities and the mysteries that space holds ?  I heard a great comment a while back “you see the world as you are”.

How are YOU when you see the world? or more specifically, when you see the night sky? :)

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Challenging 7 Billion People

Challenging 7 Billion People

Today was a day of celebration and a day of growing concern for many others as the 7th billionth child was brought into the world.  The media labelled it as an honorable milestone while others called for action against world poverty and hunger in the light of continued global economic challenges.

I marked today’s milestone with concern.  Not from poverty or hunger but from something just as basic – how do we get along with each other?   It’s an obvious fact that as the population grows, less and less will become available to us all.  However something we can all find in tremendous abundance (if we work at it) is patience, compassion, compromise, empathy and above all, love.  Like no other time, humanity needs to embrace each other and share.  We can no longer close our door, pull down the drapes and turn off the lights.  In order to survive we need each other.

This growing sentiment is taking many forms today.  The Occupy movement is moving across the globe with tremendous speed with their message to “take action against the greed and corruption of the 1%.”  The middle easts’ Arab Spring has resulted in civil uprisings causing the fall of regimes.

I mentioned to my wife on the way into work this morning the that world “was ripe for something.”  I don’t claim to know what the world needs or what it is ripe for, however,  there is a desire for change in our midst and how that change becomes reality will depend on how well we see each other as partners in this greatest challenge.

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Noise

How well do you listen to yourself? I have been exploring this more and more that past few weeks. Listening to yourself takes practice (especially if you have fallen out of touch and need to be reacquainted with your intuition or inner voice). There are a ton of distractions out there that get in the way. One of those distractions is noise.

Noise is all around us. It’s in traffic, the office, at home, at dinner, on TV, on the radio, in the mall and on and on we can find noise and distractions that take us away from hearing ourselves.

I read a great quote this evening from Steve Jobs who had just past away:

“…Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

I found a way to get rid of the noise and listen to myself again. I went fishing, I went running and I breathed deep. I felt the stress, anxiety and unimportant issues leave me. The lesson for me is knowing when to make time (and make it important) to practice listening again so that in times of ‘noise’ all I hear is me!

 

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Here is another article that speaks to making time for peace on Odewire

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Kid Lessons – Arguing

My children were arguing and crying one day. I asked my six year old son to apologize to his younger sister. He didn’t want to apologize because he claimed he didn’t do anything wrong, I said “I know”. I asked him to give her a hug and say I love you anyway.

He did. Argument over.

Adults, take a lesson.

 

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Saying Hello in Airports

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Sitting in an airport you see lots of goodbyes and hellos. It got me thinking. How do I say goodbye and hello? How do I say these things to those I know and love?

What about the people we meet? The strangers?

A long time ago someone told me that they hated deplaning and arriving at a gate and having no one to greet them. I thought of that and decided to watch the faces of crowds deplaning today and I believe many of them were also looking around as they got off.

Perhaps I should have waved at them? What if someone came over and said hello? The airport has got to be one of the most interesting places. You see people and from all corners of the globe with stories of their own but yet no one speaks to each other!

Next time you are at an airport gate and watch crowds deplaning, give someone a nod or smile. Knowing that there is someone there waiting at the gate for them may make their day :).

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Jack Layton – Helped us ‘Get it’

I joined the NDP party last Spring. Partially for the policy (I am a little to the left when it comes to politics) and partially for the leader – Jack Layton. Jack Layton passed away one week ago today. His impact to Canadian politics was honest, true and rooted in common values around equality. Listening to Jack was like being in college again. He helped me to remember the idealism of my college years. Whether Jack or his party could have led the country successfully is not a concern of mine. What I did care about was the passion, honesty and integrity he brought to the job. How can you fail with those three awesome qualities?

I was in Denver for a business trip last week. When I left in the morning the taxi wound its way through the side streets of the city. I travelled through a part of the city less known to tourists. I saw crowds gathering at food banks and drop in shelters. I saw their tired faces and large back packs that they carried with their entire life’s possessions. I saw the comradery that they all shared with each other as they lived each other’s reality. I sat there in the car and wondered what would it take for society to ‘get it’? I think Jack was on to something and I hope others saw it as I did. Thanks Jack for helping me to ‘get it’.

Here is an article that sums up Jack’s impact in his last letter to Canadians.

He couldn’t have said it better…..

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.” – Jack Layton

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