Posts from — December 2010
There seems to be quite the collection of researchers locked up in colleges poking away at lab rats…excuse me, I mean student volunteers. John Weinman, professor of psychiatry at King’s College London, has actually been whacking away at them with a sharp object! He has found…I have no idea how…that the wounds of the least stressed heal twice as fast as the wounds of the most stressed.
While Weinman has been stabbing volunteers, Sheldon Cohen of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh has been infecting them with cold and flu viruses. He has found that with huge doses of Vitamin C they get better in a week instead of seven days! Ooops, sorry, that’s a joke from a different story. Actually, he found that happier people…again I have no idea how this is measured…were less likely to get sick! And if they did catch one of his diseases, they had less severe symptoms.
How amazing. And not only that, old folks seem to be way more cheerful than than younger folks which seems to counteract to some extent the fact that they are creakier. How do these researchers come up with this stuff?
Then there is the fact that Andrew Oswald, professor of economics at Warwick Business School and his colleagues Eugenio Proto and Daniel Sgroi have found that happier people are more productive. According them, about 12% more productive. It’s just bizarre that they can actually put a percentage to such a thing.
Sharing such research seems like the perfect way to end the year. It makes it so easy to come up with your New Year’s Resolution: Become More Happy.
So I end the year by suggesting the path to success in the new year begins by thinking about all the things that make you unhappy…and then never thinking about them again! Banish unhappiness! Dwell on things that energize, enliven, excite, and…make you happy.
I can now tell you that scientists have proven that if you follow my simple advice you will be healthier and more productive. And guess what? It will rub off on everyone around you!
No wonder we say Happy New Year!
Last Tip Of The Year: Be Happy and Spread Happiness Everywhere
December 29, 2010 No Comments
I’ve been going to quite a few holiday parties as well as meeting with lots of people in a more casual way. During the last few days this has led to a few opportunities for nice new projects…and other fun things. As Woody Allen said, “showing up is eighty percent of life.”
I was even interviewed about networking during the holiday season. You can read the article right here. There’s still lots of time left this year to meet that next great person so get out there and talk to people.
There is a cost to all this connecting, however. I’m even more exhausted than usual. And my work on my new book has slowed. So I’m off to slow down and recharge. Africa, St Barth, Whidbey Island, and maybe even Paris are in my near future.
As you know, travel gets me back on track. Whatever you need to do…do it. A run down body leads to a run down mind or maybe it’s the reverse. Whichever it is, fix it.
And that title up there, well, one of my loyal readers sent me this nice picture of…me. I thought you might like to see it.
Tip For Busy People: Rest…your body and mind will thank you
December 23, 2010 2 Comments
I’ve gotten fascinated by the way we make pretend we’re not saying something by only mentioning the first letter. We do this when the word has become reprehensible or when there are sensitive ears around. You all know what I’m talking about.
Isn’t it amazing? I didn’t even have to give you a first letter and yet each and every one of you thought of something too bad to say. Yet we persist in this bizarre ritual of making pretend that using a letter or some other way of sharing what we should not say and in this surreptitious way placing the word and concept in your very mind is better than bringing it out into the light of day and cleansing it.
Thus we expand the power of the naughty word, we force you to hear the unmentionable, we place despicable ideas in your head…all in the interest of being politically correct.
It’s the old story of telling someone to try and not thing of a pink elephant…not that I would ever ask you to not think of such a silly creature.
I mention this for several reasons. First, I really do find it fascinating as an example of the way way language and our minds work. Second, I hope it gets you thinking about either just saying what you really want to say or not bringing it up at all…you and your listener will be the better for it.
And third, it is a great example of the power of story. Connecting with people is all about the story and the images you create in their mind. We people are extremely effective at creating images based on what we imagine you are saying. Each and every word you say is important and leads to either improving or destroying the picture of you that your story is creating.
So go out there and pay attention to your language. Listen to your words and think about the story they create in the mind of others. Is it the way you want them to picture you? When the words are long gone, the image lingers.
Once upon a time, in a far and distant land, there was this absolutely wonderful person…who just couldn’t tell their story well. Luckily for them, this exceptional wizard heard of their plight and soon arrived…
December 19, 2010 1 Comment
Some of you get the Benari Blog so saw my comments about Krista Tippett, host of the NPR show on Being. I’m not going to repeat it all here, so if you haven’t seen what I wrote, you really should take a look.
However, there is one thing she said in her Wall Street Journal article I quoted, Rules for Discussing The Meaning Of It All, that I decided was just so wonderful that I needed to share it again. It is such a good thing to remember when trying to make sure you understand what that other person is really saying. As Tippett says, “the best question to bring a lofty conversation back to earth is: ‘what do you mean when you say that?’ ”
We all should be using this question or a variant all the time. There we are, meeting new people and trying to initiate a relationship. We’re trying to understand then and get them to understand us so we can begin to develop the basis of a strong relationship…trust.
But what happens? Since we don’t know them yet so have little understanding of their background, culture, knowledge, or experience…misunderstandings galore. We talk past them and rather than building trust we build confusion.
Which brings us back to Tippett…and, what do you mean by that? A glorious question deserving of use often. The odd thing is, using it often with someone will lead to not having to use it much with them while not using it at all leads to needing it always. Now there’s something to think about.
On Africa: On a different note, my friends Amy and Jon Ostroff went off to South Africa a few years ago and would up adopting a wonderful orphanage, Siyaphambili Orphan Village near Cape Town. They started Love to Langa to support the place and they have been raising money and building support for the kids living there ever since.
Jon is a bit…well, more than a bit…of a character so you never know what he’s going to do. But I must admit I was still amazed when I saw the short (2 minutes so you have no excuse not to watch it) video he made with Charlie about a dire need in the village. You’ll be glad you did. So if you didn’t watch it at the first link, watch it now!
And in case you want to see what he wrote about the video, here that is.
Question Tip: What do you mean by that?
December 15, 2010 1 Comment
It always amazes me how people remember things about me better than I remember things about me. Perhaps my hard drive is full and I need to increase its memory. I mention this because suddenly people are asking me about Bead for Life after a long period of inactivity.
Bead for Life is the spectacular program my friends founded and run in Uganda. They teach women in extreme poverty…less than a dollar a day in income (you read that correctly, one measly dollar)…how to make beautiful beads and jewelry from scrape paper and then sell them through a worldwide networking of volunteers ensuring that almost the entire amount returns to the women. Some people have remembered I’ve been helping them out for a few years and selling beads…in addition to everything else: Steve, wandering bead peddler.
The kids wind up in school, they get medical care and more food on the table, and over the course of a couple of years the women learn how to run a business and become economically independent and generate significantly more income. It is truly an amazing program. I encourage all of you to visit them in Uganda.
And back to my comment about memory, well, lots of people seem to remember that I have a ton of beads that I sell for the ladies and have been searching me out to buy a few as the perfect gift…which they are. Beautiful, inexpensive, and with a story behind them you can’t beat. Let me know if you want to gather up a few.
Other than that, I had the wonderful experience yesterday of networking leading to two new clients. In one case the networking began about 6 years ago when I met the introducer, which led to the introduction to the prospect about 6 months ago(yes, occasionally I stayed in touch with the introducer all that time), and the request to do the work…yesterday. And it is a project that is so cool it was actually worth a 6 year wait.
In the other case about a year ago I was introduced to someone “just to chat.” During our chat we discussed mutual interests which led to my being introduced to a Famous Business Owner. And then yesterday FBO and I talked and he hired me to install EOS in his company. (EOS is that spectacular way of running your business that aligns everything about how you run your business leading to discipline about execution…and increased success)
So much for all that talk about how no one does anything as the holidays approach. Don’t listen to this ridiculous message. Keep on charging forward. Since lots of other people actually do believe this nonsense…it leaves the field open for you to race ahead and grab the opportunity…and pick up a few nice beads along the way.
Bead Tip: You need some
Seasonal Tip: Others are on the sidelines…take advantage of the open field
Marathon Tip: Sometimes it really is a marathon…and takes as long as it takes
December 9, 2010 No Comments
It is a crazy time of year. There is something about the end of the year and the various holidays surrounding it that changes people’s behavior. Everyone seems to go a bit crazy. People speed up, run around, talk faster, and…most importantly…are much more interested in talking to everyone.
Yup, Networking Nirvana is here again.
Take advantage of it. Personally, I have a breakfast, a lunch, an afternoon glass of wine, and a dinner or party almost every night. The opportunities to meet bazillions of people in a short time are wonderful.
I’m even flying off to Boston for the Anthurium Solutions Holiday Party Saturday night. This is the exceptional company clever enough to have me as Chair of the Board of Advisers. I am pleased to report that we’ve released a number of platforms for medical management and have lots of great opportunities lined up awaiting closure. I’ve already suggested we buy a corporate jet for my personal use.
Holiday Tip: Go to all of them…
In the midst of all this havoc my Book Dominatrix has kept whipping me. To my amazement I now have a great introduction and a pretty good set of chapter overviews. Might even wind up with the exceptional book hiding out in my brain somewhere if she keeps walking on me with those ridiculous spiked heels.
Aside: For those of you following along you know well the randomness of my brain and eclectic nature of my interests. I finally figured out that I really need exceptional people I totally trust to keep me focused and kick me into action. If you share my affliction I highly recommend you find your equivalent of my Book Dominatrix, Web Ogre, Legal Gnome, and other assorted denizens of the netherworld who bang me into shape.
As a teaser, my assortment of shapers have decided that it’s time for me to decide what I want to do when I grow up. They’ve harassed me into submission so there are going to be some Big Changes coming in the near future. Have no fear, this little random missive will keep on coming, but who knows what it will look like…and sound like…as things evolve. It is so exciting.
And as a final note…thanks to all of you who asked how my various infirmities are doing. I’m pleased to report that the damn poisonous spider bite is totally healed. Unfortunately I’m still run down from the Lyme Disease. Hopefully on my soon to come trip to Botswana and Nigeria I won’t run into any Huge Poisonous Bugs.
I liked this tip so much I thought I’d repeat it:
Holiday Tip: Go to all of them…
December 3, 2010 No Comments