Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Stronger Every Day

I've had the good fortune to be healthy, so I've not experienced the daily strengthening accomplishments that one recovering from an illness or surgery might.

My acknowledgement of daily improvements in strength have occurred today and the previous 4 days.  When I first (unintentionally) ran on Saturday, I told my friend that I'd have to walk the rest of the route after the first mile.   When a non-runner unexpectedly runs a mile, it's a cool accomplishment. 

Those who know me well, are not surprised that I followed Saturday's 1 mile run with another on Sunday.  Not surprisingly, Sunday's run was harder without my running buddy setting the pace and providing wonderful conversation to distract from the running task.

Sore muscles prompted me to consult my daughter, who is a long-time runner to decide whether to rest or run on Monday.  I opted to run 1.5 miles.  This good decision led to 2 mile runs Tuesday and today. 

An additional unexpected benefit from this experience is the distinctive realization that I am getting stronger each day.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

We View Things Differently

We rarely see the whole picture. A photo gives us the opportunity to view one aspect of a situation or event.   A wedding is the best example.  The bride and groom will choose their best photos.  The bride's family chooses different bests. The groom's family's selection is different. And, friends will select photos that might not make the other party's cuts. Only by viewing all the photos snapped by the official photographer and those captured by everyone else with an active camera do we have a comprehensive view.

Each presentation allows us to position our view.

Only when we comprehensively present facts, do we allow others to adopt, adapt or reject our view.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Change - Uncomfortable or Invigorating

Change is intimidating for many and inspirational for some of us.  Addressing all of the implications of major change is important in order to productively engage all parties in maximizing the potential the change represents. 

We need to understand and communicate:
  • the big picture - why the change is happening
  • what will be different and what will remain the same
  • the resources that are available to navigate different processes
  • which aspects of change are causing stress and ways to mitigate the stress
  • ways to speed the learning curve
  • the importance of sharing successes
  • productivity will decrease in the short-term

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Increasing Meeting Productivity

Much angst exists about corporate and volunteer meetings.  Many regularly recurring meetings need to be reexamined for purpose, content, impact and ongoing relevance. 

A rudimentary primer for enhancing meeting productivity might include requiring participants to adhere to the following requirements:
  • pre-meeting review of materials
  • engaging brain, eyes and ears
  • sharing relevant knowledge and experience
  • generating productive ideas
  • full engagement/undivided attention (electronic devices pocketed/pursed)
  • positive/productive/helpful attitude

Saturday, February 25, 2012

You Don't Know Unless You Try

One of my friends and I connected unexpectedly this morning as she was starting her run and I was beginning my walk.  She's altered her routine in the past to accommodate my walking pace.  Today, I fell in step with her, thinking that we'd get to visit for a block before I ran out of steam.  Surprisingly, I kept pace for a mile.  We continued our visit at a walking pace for 2 more miles.  Thanks to her example, I realized that jogging is another viable exercise option.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Flock-upy West Loop

The main stream media has focused for months on the various "Occupy" (name a city) efforts.  Yesterday's short commute home experience was stunning because of a different "occupy" venue and occupant.  Untold numbers of black birds converged upon one of Houston's busiest intersections - 610 Loop @ Westheimer.  Though they had no agenda, they captured attention by their presence. 

When we choose to influence an impact, we must consider all elements: who, what, when, where, why and how rather than just "flock-upy" a site.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Never Invisible

Mama never leaves home without makeup and dressed appropriately.  She's a terrific role model for always putting your best self forward.  My exception to Mama's example is early morning exercise.  It doesn't seem practical to put on makeup before hitting the streets and sidewalks, then jumping into the shower as soon as I return.  Though I've encountered many neighbors and other unexpected friends on these outings, because I am actually dressed for the project I'm undertaking, I don't feel self-conscious.  Unlike Harry Potter, we can't just don our invisibility cloak when we don't want to be seen, so we must choose the image we project each time we leave home. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Extraordinary Isn't Always Obvious

One of our neighbors has a pear tree that is extraordinary for the several days that it is in full bloom.  The rest of the year it just looks like a nondescript tree.  Because we've lived in the neighborhood for so long, I know what to expect from this tree.  People are like this too.  We sometimes overlook their extraordinary characteristics because we only focus on what we usually see, rather than what they are capable of delivering.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How Are You?

How are you? This simple question can evoke so many emotions.  Our answer may be impacted by the time, circumstance, relationship to the questioner, attitude, experience, location, etc.

I've chosen to consciously respond to those with whom I don't have an established relationship with any positive response other than "fine". 

Opportunities to positively connect expand exponentially when we ask any other positively engaging question other than "how are you?"

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Gift of Change

This morning, I altered my normal walk route to be able to exercise and mail some letters.  Though the distance was the same, I hesitated for a moment.  I could walk my comfortable, normal route and mail the letters on the way to my first meeting.  After considering the possibilities, I opted to multi-task. The gifts of change were threefold:
  • gorgeous eastern sunrise
  • to-do list item completed before 8:00 a.m.
  • acknowledgement that change doesn't have to be big to be high impact