Popping In, Popping Out of Life

Lately, I have been absolutely amazed at the number of people I met earlier in life and lost contact with, but who have recently made contact again.  It seems that the notion of people popping in and out of your life is very really, sometimes permanently.  As I listen to a friend talk about losing a friend of his and seeing friends from my past popping in and out, I used this as inspiration for the text below: 

In life, there will be people popping in to your life that will make an impression upon you. Then they pop out of life and you wonder about what happened to them.  Then, one day, you are walking down the street and you find them again, hoping to keep them popped in for a little longer than when they popped in before.

But then, they pop out permanently by death.  Knowing that they will never pop back into your life, makes you sad.  But did they ever really pop out of your life in the beginning.  In fact, a little piece of them is with you, in your heart, in your thoughts and you will always have them with you.  Popping out permanently is like popping in permanently, but in a different form.  You see they never really popped out to begin with.

Then, one day, perhaps when we least expect it, you will pop out of life too.  Permanently.  Death is not a bad thing.  It helps us remember the missing popper and forces us to recognize, in a somewhat painful, cruel way, how much they have touched our lives. 

Since those around us will always carry part of who we are with them, this isn’t such a bad thing afterall…  friends, family, colleagues and strangers will remember you for how you touched them.  In fact, one you’ve popped out, you might pop into other peoples’ lives that you never thought possibly. 

So then they continue popping in and popping out of other peoples’ lives, sharing you and sharing themselves as they go.  

Until, three or four generations later when you are forgotten.  Replaced with other people and other memories in their hearts.  You may be remembered by a box of junk and old photos, but that does not matter.  At this point, those people who popped in and out of your life have permanently popped out too.  Together again you all will be, the memories continue, more fun is had, and life as you knew it with your fellow poppers continues on in a land that is so fantastic, those stuck on earth could only begin to fathom.  

As you go through life, be true to yourself, embrace others for who they are and enjoy the moments, memories, laughs and simple conversations.  Share experiences with those around you and have fun every minute of the day.  Smile, laugh, embrace, and party.

 Popping in and popping out just makes life a little more fun.  

 

Balance, Don’t Forget It!

Balance is one of those things that I think a lot of people go through life without. It applies to just about everything and can be hard to achieve. In fact, we often forget to look for the balance in every situation.

Here are some examples:

1) Horseback Riding – The rider must balance their weight on the saddle. Lean too far right or left and you risk falling off. Lean too far forward descending a steep hill and you risk tumbling forward, horse and all. Constantly maintaining balance in the saddle is the key to happy horses and happy riders.

2) Triathlons – During a triathlon, the triathlete is balancing speed with energy exertion, meaning that you want to finish in the fastest time possible but still have energy left to make it across the finish line. Fail at fueling your body correctly or pushing yourself too hard and your performance will show it. Balance the speed and energy to be a successful triathlete.

3) Swimming – The key to moving through the water is perfect balance, which creates minimal drag. Michael Phelps (sorry, you can’t talk about swimming and not mention him) is somewhat of a scrawny guy, but his success comes from finding the most streamlined position and movements in the water. Phelps does not need power when he is not losing speed to drag; he just needs enough to maintain. Balance makes you a happy, efficient swimmer.

4) Nutrition – Eating lots of one thing, really doesn’t work for the human body. In fact, the phrase concerning moderation is right on. Eating a balance of vegetables, fruits, proteins, and fats is the key to feeling great and losing weight.

5) Personal and Professional Life – Working too much can lead to burn out. Not working enough can lead to bankruptcy and foreclosure. Not having enough fun can lead to depression. Not exercising enough and eating too much can lead to obesity. I think you know where I am going with this. Life balance is about getting paid to do something you enjoy, hanging out with the people that make you laugh, going to the symphony, and even sweating a lot playing basketball or running through the neighborhood. Finding balance in life can be difficult and many die never having it.

As you are reading this, ask yourself, Where is the balance in this moment? Is the lighting just right? Is your chair comfortable? What can you do to bring balance to the moment?

When you get up tomorrow, keep balance in mind all day. Observe your world and find the places that you may have forgotten where balance exists or needs to exist.

DON’T FORGET IT!

What Do You Know When You Don’t?

Knowing something is half the battle. Communicating that something is the other half, but that is the subject of another post.

Knowing how your customers use your product and how they want to interact with you is a great thing. Two major steps toward becoming customer oriented.

But then you realize that what you know, might not be what you know. You see signs that your data may be incomplete or inaccurately measured. What do you know now?

1) You need to stop and reevaluate what you know.
2) Depending on the issue, you might be realizing that what you know, might be valid to some degree.
3) On the other-hand, you might be realizing that an entire rebuild of the data warehouse is in order.
4) You start making a mind map of the situation to visualize the scope of the problem.
5) You start counting the knowns, the unknowns, the could-be’s and the what-if’s.
6) You then start to think that maybe if you ignore it, it might, with a one in a trillion change, actually fix itself.

Then you realize you just reconstructed the famous Donald Rumsfeld speech:
“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.” – Donald Rumsfeld (more Rumsfeld quotes)

In the end you may know much more than when you started. But the process of determining what you don’t know and what you do know is a great one! It is called validation.

Everyone should have a process of validation.

Those Simple Gifts

A gift does not have to be big nor expensive and it must be given without any expectation of something given back in return.

Receiving a gift from someone, be it advice, an unexpected phone call, or even a small quarter can be powerful tool. It triggers those warm fuzzy feelings that makes us feel great. It makes us feel like we are valued and respected.

Gifts should be a regular part of any customer experience. Whether you give the gift of top notch customer service, free products, or incredible ease of use, gifts can separate you from the competition.

Components of Your Future

Future.  It is what you make it to be.

Goals.  They are what you want.

Actions.  The past and present efforts.

Network. These are the people that are going to help you.

Passion. It is what drives you to build your future with goals, take actions and network.

Building the components into a coherent package leads to a successful future.  While some look toward the future with joy, others see a future full of dismay from a lack of network, improperly defined goals, and lack of action.  Don’t be dismay…  build joy.

What You Are Paid For

An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision ~ James Whistler

The above quote speaks volumes for what you need to deliver day in and day out.  Like an artist, we all have vision in our positions, so when we deliver our product, it is the vision that we must deliver in a clear and concise way.

As an Analyst, when I create a chart, there is a vision that created that chart that must be communicated for others to use in their decision making process.  This is why analytics are truly an artform with the visual representation the key.  In this sense, I am not paid for my labor, but for my vision.

A trainer/coach is not paid for their workouts but for their long-term vision and commitment. – Aric Monts (taking inspiration from Mr. Whistler)

As I consider shaking up the fitness industry, it is not the workouts that clients want.  It is the long-term vision of their fitness and the commitment of an individualized trainer that they want.   Anyone can create a basic workout, but putting the workouts together with the vision in the form of a training plan and following up with commitment, the client will be loyal.

The next time you look at your pay stub, think about not what you physically delivered, but the vision that it represents!