Word-Of-the-Week #744: Love

November 8, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Love an expression of emotion.

Love is a versatile word — like what it describes. Love takes many forms.

Once again this week we experienced another horrendous act of violence and when I read this article by the Associated Press, “Jewish nurse says he treated synagogue shooting suspect out of love” I felt compelled to make it this week’s focus.

“Love. That’s why I did it. Love as an action is more powerful than words, and love in the face of evil gives others hope,” Ari Mahler wrote on Facebook.

PITTSBURGH — A Jewish nurse who treated the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect says that he saw confusion but not evil in the man’s eyes, and that his own actions stemmed from love.

“I’m sure he had no idea I was Jewish,” registered nurse Ari Mahler wrote in a Facebook post about suspect Robert Bowers, who was taken to Allegheny General Hospital after the Oct. 27 rampage at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood that left 11 people dead.

Mahler described his role as “The Jewish Nurse” who treated the suspect, saying that he felt nervous about sharing his account but that “I just know I feel alone right now, and the irony of the world talking about me doesn’t seem fair without the chance to speak for myself.”

“I didn’t say a word to him about my religion,” Mahler said in the post. “I chose not to say anything to him the entire time. I wanted him to feel compassion. I chose to show him empathy. I felt that the best way to honor his victims was for a Jew to prove him wrong.”

An Allegheny General Network representative confirmed the authenticity of the post.

Bowers, 46, pleaded not guilty Thursday to a 44-count grand jury indictment charging him with murder, hate crimes, obstructing the practice of religion and other crimes, for which he could face the death penalty. Authorities say Bowers raged against Jews during and after the massacre. He remains jailed without bail.

Mahler, whose Facebook page noted that he started his job in the hospital’s emergency department March 1, said he didn’t see evil in Bowers’ eyes but “a clear lack of depth, intelligence, and palpable amounts of confusion.” He said he couldn’t go into detail about their interaction due to medical privacy requirements, but Bowers thanked him “for saving him, for showing him kindness, and for treating him the same way I treat every other patient.”

He noted that this came from the same person accused of mass murder who “instilled panic in my heart worrying my parents were two of his 11 victims less than an hour before his arrival.”

Mahler, who said that his father was a rabbi and that he experienced anti-Semitism “a lot” as a kid, said he acted out of love.

“Love. That’s why I did it,” he said. “Love as an action is more powerful than words, and love in the face of evil gives others hope. It demonstrates humanity. It reaffirms why we’re all here. … I could care less what Robert Bowers thinks, but you, the person reading this, love is the only message I wish instill in you. If my actions mean anything, love means everything.”

And this from Brian Resnick at Vox.com. “You might think that with every new death, we’d all feel greater and greater empathy, greater and greater sadness.

But no. It’s human to feel numb.

There’s a profound and infuriating psychological concept that can help explain increasing numbness in the face of long, slow-burning tragedy like mass gun violence in America. It’s this: As the number of victims in a tragedy increases, our empathy, our willingness to do something, reliably decreases.”

This week’s focus is on love. Would you be able to show compassion and empathy if you were put in Ari’s position? Wouldn’t it be great if we all could feel more love instead of feeling more numb? Something has to be done. I think we should start a LOVE movement – starting today!

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Word-Of-the-Week #743: Persuasion

November 1, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Persuasion to convince others to share your opinion or take the action you recommend.

Would you say you are a great communicator? Do you easily connect with people? Are you able to ignite someone’s imagination with your verbal skills?

“If you’re a great communicator, you should be a great wealth creator” by San Diego UT columnist Neil Senturia is a perfect follow up to last week’s WOW when you have the “Ideal Job.”

“Ronald Reagan was known as the Great Communicator. Leaving aside his politics, what does come through from his speeches is his ability to connect with his audiences.

A billion words are written every year either extolling the need to communicate, the value of communication, the lack of communication or the difficulty of communication. Carmine Gallo, a Harvard University instructor, has written a book, “Five Stars,” which purports to give us the communication secrets to move from good to great at this skill.

To Gallo’s credit, his book is not touchy-feely. The core premise is that being good at communication, good at talking, good at “mastering the ancient art of persuasion” is all about creating more wealth – for you. In other words, if you can learn to spin and combine words and ideas “to ignite people’s imagination,” you will get more money. You will be richer. His thesis is simple. In this age of artificial intelligence, globalization and automation – the one skill that can separate and elevate you above both the man and the machine are words – and how they are put together.

Notice, he did not say power point; he did not say text or email. Gallo’s passion centers on his study of the primitive brain and he says that, after thousands of years of evolution, the way we process information is still through the vehicle of a story, “through emotions and empathy.”

Now, this really resonates for me personally, since I frequently begin an interaction with this sentence, “let me tell you a story.” Sometimes it is a full and true story and sometimes it is a nuanced story, and sometimes my nose grows to Pinocchio size. The key is that the story is always in the service of communicating an idea, a point of view. You might call them fables with just enough reality to hold my audience and move their needle in the desired direction.

Rule No. 455: Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Gallo argues that mastering this ancient art of persuasion is a competitive skill. It elevates you above the rest. There are also another billion words written about leadership. And leading seems to be very closely aligned with active persuasion, not just giving an order. Even in the military, getting Harry to take Hamburger Hill with gusto, recognizing, he can easily die, relies on persuasion and believing in the cause, or what he calls “articulating a vision.”

Gallo gives examples in his book ranging from Aristotle to my favorite wild man, Richard Branson, who says, “I do not believe you could be a great leader today without being a good storyteller.” Branson has a unique model for creating stories; he brings people to Necker Island, (his private 74 acre retreat in the British Virgin Islands), and he gathers the group around a fire pit. He says, “the best ideas for our companies have come from around a campfire.” Wow, I love that. It feels wonderfully primitive, and of course, we all know about going to a camp or a retreat and hearing ghost stories.

The master of all, according to Gallo, is Aristotle and his “three-part formula.” First, you need to have ethos, which is credibility and character. (Not just being a character, but having character). Second, you need to have “logos,” which is the logical structure to your argument. You cannot wander or ramble . Finally, “you cannot persuade another person to change their mind or behavior without pathos, which is emotion.”

We often make decisions based on emotional narratives without giving appropriate weight to compelling and possibly conflicting facts –being forced to later deal with the infamous, “it seemed like a good idea at the time.”

Gallo cites TED talks as powerful, because they tell stories. No bullet points are allowed. And finally, let’s go to show me the money. The statistics show that strong verbal skills will get you promoted faster than just experience. In business presentations, verbal trumps the visuals. The great persuaders have an unfair competitive advantage. What the great ones communicate is not just an idea, but “an expectation of what they hope to achieve.” They are the artists who mesmerize and spin a tangled web with words. That is not just a soft skill; it is fundamental to your success.”

This week’s focus is on persuasion. Do you want to get promoted? Are you credible and is your character intact? How good are you at convincing someone to change their mind or behavior?

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FUN-video: Canada – Dinosaurs & Polar Bears

October 31, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

  • This is the movie trailer of our trip. Enjoy!

FUN-fact – Not only is Churchill known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World – it’s also a beluga whale watching hotspot, a birder’s paradise, & one of the best places to experience the northern lights.


FUN-photos: Canada – Dinosaurs & Polar Bears

October 30, 2018 by · 2 Comments 

  • Quick 3 day Getaway!

1st AdventureDrumheller for Dinosaurs – in search of the world’s best-preserved armoured dinosaur at the Royal Tyrrell Museum – located in Canada’s Badlands & a 90 minute drive from Calgary.

  • Actually it’s a nodosaur – likely resembling a cross between a lizard & a lion – but covered in scales – petrified from the snout to the hips – originally 18 ft long & weighing in at about 3000 lbs – this armored plant eater is 110 million years old!

Polar Bear @1:30

2nd Adventure“Up Close & Personal” Polar Bear Safari – long day starting at 0’dark:30 – with 2 hr 15 min private charter jet to Churchill – for 6 + hrs in a tundra buggy – in search of polar bears migrating toward the coast – awaiting the deep freeze-up – to get access to their favorite diet of ringed seals. YUMMY!

  • Saw 12 bears of varying ages & lots of activity – & our “Big Bonus” was seeing young males spar on the icy rocky terrain just in front of us! Some just sat lazing in the balmy 30 degree fall day under cloudy skies – & the forecast for snow flurries never happened!
  • Our day ended with a short stop in town before boarding our flight & arriving back in Calgary at 20:30.

FUN-fact – In 2014, we spent 2 weeks on an arctic cruise and didn’t see anywhere near as many polar bears let alone get as close as we did here!

More FFPolar Bears International live streams the polar bears from the shores of Hudson Bay every fall!

Word-Of-the-Week #742: Ideal

October 25, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Ideal that which is perfect and most suitable for you. 

Would you say that your job is perfect and most suitable to your values? Have you ever felt you were in a rut? Do you want to make a difference in people’s lives?

Search for ideal job may evolve along with you,” by Phil Blair is filled with great career advice.

“Mary had just finished her sophomore year of college and was under pressure to declare a major for her last two years. As a result of her father’s request — networking at its best — we met for an informational interview. Mary was still in college and fairly young so our conversation began very generally.

When I asked about her ideal job, she struggled at first for an answer, saying she’d never really given it much thought. After a few seconds, suddenly excited, she declared that, yes, she wanted to be “the next Dr. Freud and discover the cure for addiction!”

Wow, I thought to myself. That sounded pretty darned impressive. But what did she really mean? And where did those goals come from?

Of course, aspiring to become the next Freud was beyond ambitious. And I couldn’t help but wonder why would Mary want to tackle the scourge of alcohol and drug addiction. Intrigued, I asked her to explain. As it turns out, Mary’s father was a successful physician and she’d always been impressed with his desire to ability to help people. More to the point, her father had told her countless stories about patients he had treated for physical ailment, but whose real problem was an underlying addiction to drugs or alcohol.

As we talked, I learned more about Mary and her career goals. She was bright, engaging and well-spoken. Talking to people she didn’t know very well didn’t make her uneasy. In fact, she enjoyed it.

  • Undaunted by new situations or sudden challenges

Indeed, she was clearly undaunted by new situations or sudden challenges. A few years earlier, she had been a lifeguard at a local public pool and helped save a child from drowning by using her first-aid and rescue training. She told me that was her proudest “life moment.”

Then we talked about how her selfless, giving personality might evolve into possible career goals. I offered a few suggestions: How about nursing? School teacher? HR professional? Drug and alcohol counselor?

Though they were all different, requiring varied career paths and degrees, she was self-aware enough to see the common thread of what I was suggesting – that of encouraging and helping others succeed. 

I advised her to learn as much as she could about each of those fields. Do intensive research, I urged her. Talk to experts, ask questions, listen to the answers. One by one, she pursued each of the suggested career paths. Sure, they were my suggestions, but she seemed motivated enough to check them out, if only to make me happy.

And soon enough, she realized that each of them had fairly unpleasant, disqualifying aspects. Nursing meant she had to endure too much second-hand pain and suffering. To be a school teacher required more baby-sitting than actual teaching, especially when the little ones got rowdy. And the idea of becoming an HR professional wasn’t all that exciting to her – though, of course, I’d take exception to that.

  • Helping people who desperately needed her advice

To her surprise, largely because of a recent crisis with a family member, she was drawn to the final choice – drug and alcohol counselor. After pursuing a summer internship at a community clinic, she later told me, she felt fulfilled. She was helping people who desperately needed her advice.

Because she was making a difference in people’s lives, as well as in her own, that’s when her future suddenly came into focus. At long last, she had a plan: She’d pursue a degree in addictive behavior counseling and make that her career. She was certain that’s what she wanted to do, so she did it.

While Mary might never find a cure for addictive behavior, I’m happy to say that she’s now a professionally fulfilled therapist these days. Plus, her patients have the benefit of someone who’s truly devoted to her calling.

What’s the lesson? Don’t be afraid to discover what – and who – you are meant to be. And always keep your radar out for the next best opportunity. You evolve as your career evolves, so don’t get yourself into a lifelong rut. Not now, not ever.”

This week’s focus is all about your ideal. Do you love your job? If not, what would the perfect job be? Does it feel daunting just thinking about it? Is it important for you to have a job that makes you feel fulfilled?

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