Life Pitfalls: Confusing Busyness with Meaning

I’ve written a short series of “Leadership Pitfalls” over the last six months, but decided that this one might be better classified as “Life Pitfalls,” because while it certainly is something leaders fall prey to, I think it’s also something to which we are all prone and can sap much of the vitality of the lives we’ve been given as gifts. And this “life pitfall” is quite simple: confusing keeping busy with leading a meaningful life. Actually, I’d go even further and say that we can also confuse getting things done with leading a meaningful life, or even achieving goals and living a well-lived life. This last one is hard...

Friday Fun: The Dummy of Aberystwyth

Sometimes, you just need to kick back a little and take time to smile. And that’s what this video is about. No deep reflection – or shallow reflections either, for that matter – no symbolism, no ulterior motive, just a little fun. A year or two ago I posted a video by Anton Hecht, an artist and indie filmmaker in Britain who, among many things, specializes in what I would describe as “community art” – making art and film by engaging community members in, for instance, playing the paino in a bus station or playing the harmonica in the cause of civic wellness. Anton got in touch to say thank you and since...

The Power of Giving

I’ve written before about how the transformative power of dedicating yourself to making a contribution to whatever group you’re a part of, whatever persons you’re surrounded by, and in any situation you find yourself. This attitude is, I think, one of the hallmarks of great leadership...

The Paradox of Choice

On any given day, if you ask me whether I want you to tell me what to order for dinner (or wear, or how to get to work, etc.) or whether I want to choose for myself, I’ll of course say I want the freedom of choice. And you probably would, too. One of the unquestioned assumptions of our modern world is that choice is good. Choice, in fact, is essential to happiness. After all, choice equates freedom, ability, authority, power, possibility. Lack of choice is therefore equated with oppression, depravity, powerlessness, and monotony. Choice is good…always…period. Or is it? In this very engaging TED Talk, Swarthmore psychologist Barry...

Attention & Destiny Mar05

Attention & Destiny

Along the lines of paying attention…I saw this saying on a picture in a high school counselor’s office recently and it, well, just resonated with me: Pay attention to your thoughts, because they become your words. Pay attention to your words, because they become your actions. Pay attention to your actions, because they become your habits. Pay attention to your habits, because they become your character. Pay attention to your character, because it becomes your destiny. I’m not sure why I’m putting it in the “parenting” section. Maybe it’s just because I saw it in our son’s high school guidance counselor’s office while we...

Paying Attention to Everyday Grace & Joy

I’m a huge believer that simply paying attention is one of the most important things we can do if we seek to live meaningful lives in community with others. Of course it’s not just paying attention in general, it’s actually looking out for moments of grace and joy in particular. There are plenty of things out there that, if we pay attention exclusively to them, will induce us to lose confidence and hope and tempt us to believe there is little that is good and beautiful in the world. Not only are these elements before us, but there is an entire news/media industry that seeks to draw these things to our attention in order to create a...