Word-Of-the-Week #870: Consider

April 8, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Consider – to think carefully about (something), especially before making a decision.

Do you have a need to know all the answers? How receptive are you to differing ideas from others?

This week longtime friend Bill Marvin, The Restaurant Doctor has more good advice. He writes,

First of All …

Your job isn’t to HAVE all the answers, merely to be able to FIND them. Why would you knock yourself out struggling with a problem if you could get your staff to solve it themselves … especially when they wanted to?

I saw this clearly when I was working with a client and a question arose about uniforms. One of his restaurants had them and one didn’t. He had been concerned the staff [at the restaurant without uniforms] would revolt at the idea of wearing them. I suggested he just ask the crew what they thought about the idea and, if they were open to it, let them come up with what they wanted to wear, subject to his final OK.

He called one of his lead people over and raised the question. Her response: “Well, if we got to pick them, uniforms would really be cool!” She then proceeded to suggest all sorts of possibilities. What could be easier?

Someone once asked, “How can I make my staff feel like they’re part of things?” I replied, “MAKE them part of things!” [Duh!]

If you want to keep the good people, they must be involved in decisions affecting their lives. They’ll be happier, more productive and stay longer. You’ll get better solutions to problems without having to figure everything out yourself.

Secondly …

It appears I’m off on an extended rant about wages. I do things like that sometimes. You may not agree with my thoughts but hear me out. Take my advice with a grain of salt … and please feel free to share dissenting opinions.

The order of the Universe isn’t threatened by differing views. The danger is when your thinking becomes so rigid you refuse to consider other positions or discount their validity. The Universal order is only in peril when we refuse to engage in reasoned dialogue.

Any time you think your staff is being stubborn and wonder where they get that attitude, just look in the mirror. YOU are the role model [whether you want the job or not] and they will deal with YOU the same way you are dealing with THEM.

To help bring people to a different way of thinking, you must first be willing to change your own position. Then LISTEN, ask good questions, seek to understand their reasoning, reflect on what you learn and respect your insights. People will only change when THEY see the wisdom of another approach, not because they’ve been forced into it.

[Spoiler Alert: Sometimes YOU will be the one who comes to a different way of thinking!]

This week’s focus is on thinking carefully before making a decision. How rigid are you? Do you allow others to be involved in decisions affecting their lives? Are you willing to change your position?

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Word-Of-the-Week #869: April Fools

April 1, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

April Fools – practical jokes or tricks played on the first day of April.

Since today is April 1st , I thought I’d keep it light and FUN! Do you know that the day, also called All Fools’ Day, has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, though its exact origins remain a mystery?

This explanation comes from History.com. “On April 1, 1700, English pranksters begin popularizing the annual tradition of April Fools’ Day by playing practical jokes on each other.

Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes.

These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as poisson d’avril (April fish), said to symbolize a young, “easily hooked” fish and a gullible person.

April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with “hunting the gowk,” in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them.

Historians have also linked April Fools’ Day to festivals such as Hilaria (Latin for joyful), which was celebrated in ancient Rome at the end of March by followers of the cult of Cybele. It involved people dressing up in disguises and mocking fellow citizens and even magistrates and was said to be inspired by the Egyptian legend of Isis, Osiris and Seth.

In modern times, people have gone to great lengths to create elaborate April Fools’ Day hoaxes. Newspapers, radio and TV stations and websites have participated in the April 1 tradition of reporting outrageous fictional claims that have fooled their audiences. 

Lego vacuum: Lego got everyone excited when it announced a vacuum that would clean up and sort Lego bricks by color.

In 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees. In 1985, Sports Illustrated writer George Plimpton tricked many readers when he ran a made-up article about a rookie pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a fastball over 168 miles per hour.

In 1992, National Public Radio ran a spot with former President Richard Nixon saying he was running for president again… only it was an actor, not Nixon, and the segment was all an April Fools’ Day prank that caught the country by surprise.

In 1996, Taco Bell, the fast-food restaurant chain, duped people when it announced it had agreed to purchase Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and intended to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. In 1998, after Burger King advertised a “Left-Handed Whopper,” scores of clueless customers requested the fake sandwich. Google notoriously hosts an annual April Fools’ Day prank that has included everything from “telepathic search” to the ability to play Pac Man on Google Maps.

For the average trickster, there is always the classic April Fools’ Day prank of covering the toilet with plastic wrap or switching out sugar and salt.”

Today’s focus is on having some FUN playing tricks and practical jokes!

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Word-Of-the-Week #868: Reflect

March 25, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

 Reflect to think, ponder, or meditate. 

Have you spent any time over the last year to reflect on your life? Are there any experiences you would like to have or things you want to do but haven’t yet?

This week features an email that I received from one of my dear friends Carol. And a great follow up to the WOW on Regret.




The Magic Bank Account

Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest:

Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400

In your private account for your use.

However, this prize has Rules:

The set of Rules:

1. Everything that you didn’t spend during each day would be taken away from you.

2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.

3. You may only spend It.

4. Each morning upon awakening,

The bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that Day.

5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time, it can say, Game Over!”

It can close the account

And you will not receive a new one.

What would you personally Do?

You would buy anything and everything you wanted right? Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and care for. Even for people you don’t know, because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself, right?

You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the morning, right?


Shocked ???


Each of us is already a winner Of this *PRIZE*.

We just can’t seem to see it.


1. Each morning we awaken to Receive 86,400 seconds

As a gift of Life.

2. And when we go to sleep at Night, any remaining time

is Not credited to us.

3. What we haven’t used up that Day is forever lost.

Yesterday is forever Gone.

5. Each morning the account is Refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time…


SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds?

Those seconds are worth so much More than the same amount in dollars.

Think about it and remember to

Enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think.

So take care of yourself, be Happy, love deeply and enjoy life!

Here’s wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day.

Start spending….



This week’s focus is on taking time to reflect. Are you making the most of the time that you have each day? Does your life seem to be racing by? Are you enjoying the ride?

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Word-Of-the-Week #867: Open-minded

March 18, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Open-minded receptive to new and different ideas or the opinions of others.

Do you see a disagreement as a threat to your ego, rather than an opportunity to learn? Do you favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt?

This week features “Why keeping an open mind is essential,” by UT writer Neil Senturia. He writes,

“Adam Grant, a famous Wharton professor, has a new book, “Think Again.” Don’t think twice. It’s all right. Read it.

I am consumed with trying to make good decisions for myself as well as teaching and coaching others how to make good decisions. This decision-making business does not lend itself to either a simple math problem, or a complex Bayes algorithm.

The reason of course is that it involves humans, not data sets. It has nuances, not right answers. All of our decisions live in the world of timing. Turning left last week was a really good idea, but this week, that road is under repair so I need to turn right, as opposed to simply going left as usual, then honking my horn, sitting there and demanding that the road workers change their plans, rather than me changing mine. After all, I have been turning left at Grand and Garnet for 30 years.

Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winner in economics and the New York Times bestselling author of “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” writes about Grant’s book and says, “Adam believes that keeping an open mind is a teachable skill.” That idea that re-thinking can be learned is both right and radical, in that the default for most of us is, “I know what I know, don’t try to confuse me with new facts.”

Let’s go back to the turns. Just like having to slow down to make the right turn, it takes brain power and effort to apply the brakes to a previous point of view. Grant says, “Too many of us favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt. We see disagreement as a threat to our egos, rather than an opportunity to learn. Being good at thinking can make us worse at re-thinking.”

There you have it. His words are clear, the sentiments are rational and we know that fruits and vegetables are good for us, but could you please pass the pappardelle in the cream sauce. Simply reading the words often has zero effect on changing our behavior.

That is the fishhook in the process. We know the right behavior, but we ignore what we know and default to neurotic or destructive patterns. Grant says, “Argue like you are right, but listen like you are wrong.” 

I have a client, Bob, who is young, smart, talented, married, one child with a new one arriving in the next four days. He has been with the company less than a year. The CEO asks him to prepare something important for a board of directors meeting in the next few days. Board v. baby. You can see that there is a timing disconnect. But, also an opportunity.

I suggest to Bob that he should explain to the CEO that while he wants to be a good and effective employee, he also wants to be a good husband and father. Bob is afraid that saying that would slow up his rise to the C-suite and might adversely affect his compensation and where he sits in the CEO’s hierarchy of love and affection.

In my mind, this is a perfect nexus for determining his future at the company. If he tells the CEO that the next few weeks are going to be very limited work and that he is putting his wife and new son first, then two things are possible. The CEO says that sounds great, family first, come back full time when you feel comfortable. Or he says, deeply disappointed, Bob, in your priorities. When you come back, I hope there will still be a place for you.

Now Bob has a perfect opportunity to test his thinking about the true culture and future at this company and does he want to work there. You may remember a couple of weeks ago I wrote about entrepreneurs and self-compassion, that it is OK to take a nap, it is OK to not be 24×7, to let go of the imposter syndrome. Bob has this moment to deal with old fears of rejection that are no longer true.

And lurking at the edge of the Bob story is the universal desire for conflict-avoidance. But that is a two-edged sword. If you avoid conflict with your boss, it is almost certain that conflict is coming with your bride. And you will remember her disappointment for much longer than the Board will remember that deck.”

Rule No. 657: Hit the brakes, right turn ahead.

This week’s focus is on being open-minded. How receptive are you to new and different ideas or the opinions of others? Do you believe that keeping an open mind is a teachable skill? How would it feel to argue like you are right, but listen like you are wrong?

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Word-Of-the-Week #866: Regrets

March 11, 2021 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #866: Regrets 

Regrets feelings of sorrow, disappointment, distress, or remorse about something that one wishes could be different. 

Do you ever look back on your past with feelings of regret? Or have you made peace with your past so you can move on?

This week features long time friend and subscriber Joe’s response to the WOW on enjoyment. He writes,

“One of the most important of those points is in making peace with our pasts. 

There are so many people who continue to regret what happened, regret what they said, regret what they did in their pasts. It reminds me of a line from a Bob Seger song, “I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.” That basically says, “I wish I coulda shoulda woulda.”

But they didn’t, and now they are going back over their pasts and trying to fix it.

But it’s done. What’s done is done. Move on. LIVE! 

By continuing to live in the past, we lose tomorrow.  

Once we make peace with our pasts and realize that those mistakes made us who we are today. The key is to not repeat those mistakes again.  

We have to enjoy today. This day, WILL NEVER COME AGAIN. So, enjoy it. 

Jim Valvano, the late basketball coach of North Carolina State University, said we should do three things every day: “Laugh, think and have your emotions move you to tears. If you do those three things every day, that’s a helluva week.”

It is also so important to simply be nice to people. If there is anything I have experienced in life is that karma is for real. How you treat people every day of your life comes back to you.

I have experienced so much goodness simply by treating people well or just lending a helping hand. We never know when it will come back to us during our lifetimes. 

Susan, I don’t know if you saw the Tom Hanks’ film “A Wonderful Day In the Neighborhood,” which is about Fred Rogers. During one scene he tells the reporter to simply think of all the people who loved him into being. That was one of the most life affirming moments of the film. Many times we don’t think of all of those people who have created who we are. 

As I have looked back on so much of my life, I would not change one thing, even with some of the setbacks I have experienced. Because they made me into who I am today. 

Great word, Susan. 

Don’t worry. BE HAPPY! 

Stay well.”

And like Joe, I don’t have any regrets. I’m not proud of some of the things I have done and would have liked moving thru some periods quicker… or done things differently… or made better choices. It’s always easier to see things in hindsight. But I am the sum total of all my experiences…so to have regrets would mean that I am disappointed in myself.

This week’s focus is on not having regrets. Do you believe that everything that has happened in your life has brought you to where you are today? Do you believe in karma and that any negative past behavior can be repaired? Do you want to live in your past or be in the present?

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