Category Archives: Editorial

Steve Jobs-a Lesson on How to Use a Life

I  need to preface this post by saying I’m not here to get on the morbid ban wagon, or to increase my viewership by posting about the subject de jour. In fact, I don’t own a Mac, an IPhone or an IPad…but I do have IPod. However I, as most people, often get contemplative when someone whom has forged a great presence in the world dies. When this occurs (as is often the case but its only in some cases that we really sit up and take notice) I’m reminded of two things. First, we all have the ability to consciously be like a Steve Jobs, leaving a positive massive worldly, city wide, or familial footprint. However, very few of us will actively choose to do so. Secondly, times like these remind me of the inevitable. We will all die. For most we don’t ever want to think about that. It’s just too awful to contemplate. So we walk around day after day, week after week, assuming we have all the time in the world. Never really coming to grips with the fact that we don’t have all the time in the world. For others, the fact of death is an impetus to action and relaxation. These people move because they know their time is limited. These people relax because they know that every ‘thing’ is transitory as is every ‘body.’ There are great life lessons being said by great living people, famous and not famous. Unfortunately, it’s not until they die that we often listen. So here are some of Steve Jobs’s great life lessons learned from the mountains and valleys of his own life. Mr. Jobs has died. But maybe now we’ll start to listen to him a little more closely, and take what he has to say to heart. Here is his complete Stanford Commencement Address from 2005. Continue reading

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Entitlement: The Perfect Pick-Me-Up

Image by Henri Clarke for Conde NastNot getting what you want? Feeling the sting of the global recession? Are you wondering what the way out is? I have a suggestion. Start acting Entitled. Start acting like you are too Entitled to be the victim of economic circumstance. Act so Entitled that the mere thought of it is a bore. Act as if you are owned pleasure, increase in everything, and favor with people. Act as if you are bored with anything less than these.  Sounds crazy? Maybe. But what you believe becomes you’re world. We are master creators, most of us just don’t know it yet. Entitlement seems to be a dirty word to most. We think it is synonymous with wealth and rudeness. There is nothing wrong with wealth, rudeness however is an entirely different matter. We also seem to think that Entitlement is only bestowed on those of a certain family or class. I beg to differ. Being here, alive, entitles all of us think and live well. You don’t have to take my word for it. Ask anyone who lives Entitlement just how their world is, and I bet it will be easier than yours. However, this pick-me-up isn’t for everyone. If you want to stay in the drudgery of martyrdom, go ahead. But I guarantee if you try it for one day, less will seem to bother you and more will come to you. You’ll be different. You’ll feel different. I’ve said it before, believing is seeing.

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We are Really Very Small

Image from the movie A Bug's Life

I think that there is something that we all inherently know, despite our resistance to acknowledge it. We are all inherently really very small. Like a bug. We may have big personalities and big impressive jobs, homes, and accomplishments. But we’re really at the mercy of something much greater. It may be a hurricane, tornado, job loss, death of a friend or family member, or the unexpected arrival of a baby. Big events, with maximum impact, with very little input from us. These events can erode our physical and mental foundations, and bring upheaval into our seemingly ordered worlds.

Have you ever noticed an ant as you walk in its path? You’re the unexpected presence from which it attempts to run away. Once you’ve gone I can only expect that ant goes back to doing what it was doing in the first place. Does it then ponder its existence and the meaning of what it does. I doubt it. That gift is specifically reserved for us. Unlike a bug we rarely have the same amount of life snuffing footsteps to contend with, but contend with them we do nonetheless. So what gives?Instead of deriving positive energy out of our size realization, moving as briskly as possible in the direction we know we want to head doing what we know we can, we do the complete opposite. We make ourselves smaller by berating our inability to control the big events. We never could control them. The only problem is now we have to acknowledge it.

We are really very small.

The question now remains if we want our actions to stay that way?

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Simple Advice for a Simple Sunday: Stop Saying You’re Old Already

 Do you know that the most used word in the English language is “I”. I’m sure I’ve used it more than its fair share here. Do you know what “I” think is the most popular phrase in the English language? “I’m getting old.” Actually, what’s getting old is people above the age of 55 (even 60) saying their getting old. We live in a culture where we are living longer and better than former generations. Yet persons, many persons, of a certain mindset feel the need to proclaim that they are getting old. Seriously? You’re OLD at 38, 40, 45, 50, 55? While the response may be, well I am getting older each year numerically, that’s not the implied meaning when you say “I’m getting old.” It’s implication is that you can’t do what you used to be able to do when you were younger, in your 20s. What may that have been? Eating too much crap and washing it down with too much alcohol, but still being able to get up the next morning relatively skinny and less the worse for wear?  I would venture to say that you have more capability, intelligence, knowledge, guts, individuality and common sense than you did when you weren’t old. But in our culture we fail to give credence to such things, instead opting for the popular sound bite of “I’m getting old.” But you know what, I guess you’re right. You are old in the important ways…in spirit and mindset. But please, don’t tell me how old you are there’s no need. All I have to do is listen to you for about 5 minutes to know the obvious.

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Monday’s Stinking Thinking

My dog Henri at my wedding. Image by Meg Adkinsson

This post is a reprint from FaVorable Food.

“If you don’t think every day is a good day, just try missing one.” -Cavett Robert

I have many people who read this blog from all over the world. Thank you by the way!!! I don’t know about other countries, but I do know about mine, America. The prevailing attitude of American’s is that they hate Mondays. I can only assume that people believe they hate Mondays because it’s the start of the work week, and for most the start of the onslaught of unpleasant responsibilities.

I used to hate Mondays too. Here are some reasons I did, that you may relate to…

1.  I hated my job, when I was employed by someone;

2.  I hated my business when it was slow;

3.  I hated the fact that I would face bills that needed to be paid whether I could pay them or not;

4.  I hated that I wasn’t trying to live out my dreams, and Monday was a reminder of that;

5.  I hated that I didn’t act or feel courageous (see immediately #4);

6.  I hated that Monday reminded me how seemingly uninteresting and boring my life was; and

7.  With Monday came worries about…oh I don’t know, EVERYTHING.

Slowly, I started to realize that it’s not healthy to live in all that hate. Because I was letting all that out into the world it was getting fed back to me, and then some. I also realized that I could control all the things that I hated, and much of it started with an attitude change. I had control over a lot more than I was giving myself credit for. Most important, I could realize that everyday was a good day by missing one (via death’s messenger-no thanks). Or I could have a day and just decide it was going to be good by virtue of its existence.

I often think, our Monday morning stinking thinking comes from our disappointment in our selves and consumption with worry. When we compare our lives, and who we are with others it doesn’t motivate us. Rather, it erodes us. When we worry we cease to come up with the answers that can come if we just calm down.

Do you know that humans are the only animal on the face of the earth that worries and is disappointed in itself? And we’re the advanced species?

Not so surprisingly, at least to me anymore, I’ve learned a great deal from Henri about how to live. He’s always happy or he’s content. I never see him worrying about whether he’ll be fed by me, because he knows he’ll be fed by me. If given an opportunity to have fun, he’ll take it. He’s a dog. He doesn’t try to be anything else than a dog. He doesn’t compare himself to other dogs. He probably likes being a dog.

What’s the key to being like a dog? I can only say that if, you believe you’re a dog start acting like one (you know what I mean). Stop trying to compare yourself to the Lhasa Apso down the street. He’s not thinking about you anyway. He’s thinking about himself. Be excited to be alive. You’ve been given a day, another chance to act like a dog. Take it! For the love of God, stop worrying. You can. I know you can. Have some faith that you’re the dog you think you are!

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Friday…Finally, Just Let Go Already!

DIY bike basket from ModCloth Blog

It’s Friday. I’ve decided no matter how much the week may have handed me its challenges, bumps and serious bruises (and it did), I’m still going to yell “Friday…Finally!” as if it were a whopping success. This way I can go into the weekend, energized and carefree.

You see when the week “sucked” and we get to Friday we have a tendency to be exhausted. Then Saturday comes, with delight mind you, but also with an impending dread that Sunday will be here shortly. We all know that Sunday is just a short kick in the…butt, to Monday. But, if you’re excited at your Friday, you can let go of the underlying dread that colors your weekend, because you won’t be predisposed to assuming a terrible, troublesome week ahead. And really, isn’t it better to feel good as much as possible?

Remember Mary Poppins (who was practically perfect in every way)? She sung, “Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest heights.” She was singing that to bring joy and forgetfulness of their reality to the charges. Not many of us have kites anymore. So instead why don’t you go fly a bike. Peddle so hard this weekend that you believe you’ll leave the ground. No body (literally “body”) can carry angst on a bike. And if for some reason you’re still negative and hate your bike, then paint your bike, or make the cute little bike basket liner above (the instructions from ModCloth blog are here).

But for the love of all that is good, do something to Just Let Go Already!

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Fabulous Hit the Blogosphere through the Mrs

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially if it has a point of view and is styled right. So the picture at left should tell you a bit about the blog Mrs. Lilien- Styling House, and the blogger Mrs. Kelley Lilien. By trade this Mrs. Lilien is a graphic artist and prop stylist (i.e. the image at right). By night, she injects the blog community with style and flair, through her witty post prose, and her colorful, energetic, sense of style and flare. Who knew mojitos went best with a Elizabeth and James Kimono Maxi dress? You didn’t, nor did I, but we can learn. Let us never forget about the 7 success driven persuasions in our life lifetime (number 2 being above). Most people pretend to be glamorous. Some people are glamorous and never share the wealth. Few people are glamorous and let us in on how-to be too. If you’re interested in the latter, I suggest a visit to Mrs. Lilien- Styling House.

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