Three Thoughts About Ordinary Days …

Writing It Down“The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.”

Thomas Moore

On Saturday morning, I like to consider thoughts I have run across during the week.  Several deceptively simple messages occur to me on reading the above:

1) We are what we do … and what we do need not be complex or lofty.

2) Practice is essential … even when doing ordinary things that we do every day.

3) What we do in the privacy of our homes is important, maybe more so than what we do in public.

I have heard threads of the above in many places … the idea that simple things done well makes up a life well spent is not new.  However, I have not spent much time thinking about the implications up to now.   Too busy doing to be busy thinking, I suppose.

After some consideration, here is what I determined, with no claims about the quality involved, just the presence of these things in my daily life: 

I write, sometimes in depth and sometimes in passing, about whatever catches my attention, but I do this in some fashion every day. 

…. I like to express myself with words.

I think about connections, causes, and anomalies in business and in human relationships.  I consider perspectives and analyze behaviors. 

… I like to understand beyond the obvious or apparent.

I connect people, ideas, and tools through sharing what I run across, either online or in person. 

… I like to help others learn and understand.

I combine images and words to convey meaning and perspective about leadership behavior and human relationships.

… I like to create and communicate my ideas and perceptions. 

On reflection, this list of what I do every blessed day tells me some useful things about myself.  It was a good exercise.

So the weekend reflection questions for you are:

What do YOU do ordinarily … every day at home?

What do these things tell YOU about yourself?

Wondering why I never thought about doing this before in the Heartland ….





My Mind Is Completely Open …

Trash can“If you keep your mind sufficiently open, some people will throw a lot of rubbish in it.”


William A. Orton


Okay … I have always heard that we ought to keep an open mind and I believe this to be a good thing.

However, the honorable Mr. Orton is NOT telling us to close our minds.  He is just warning us of what will come when we open our minds to the world and all that is in it.

You will need to sort through quite a bit of rubbish during a lifetime of being open to new ideas and thoughts.  Best to learn how to do so efficiently.

This reinforces the need for every person to develop critical thinking skills.  After all, you need some tools to identify what is worthwhile and what is not.

Thinking critically about a great number of things, much of which appears to be crap in the Heartland ….






Free Ain’t Free … Unless It’s Free …

The Charlatan - Pietro Longhi 1757

Mini-Rant Warning …


TO:  Advertisers, marketers, salespeople, and anyone else who tries to convince people that something is available without cost.


I just saw an advertisement for a large chain store, which will remain anonymous.  Not because I do not have the urge to shout their name from the rooftop, but because what they do is not unique to them and I do not wish to provide them with extra advertising.

Buy Two, Get One Free!

Now I am a fan of “Free” … as my sagging bookcases and bulging computer files will attest, to say nothing of my constant battle of the waistline.  Free is the Holy Grail, after which I quest without tiring.

However, “Free” has to really mean “Free”, as in no cost, no catch, no hidden fees.

When you have to buy 2 of something to get another one “Free”, you are not getting Free.  You may be getting reduced price per unit, you may be getting cheaper, you may even be getting a great bargain, but you are not getting Free. 

If you don’t believe me, walk into a store that advertises “Buy 2, Get One Free” and try to claim just the third “free” item.  Go ahead … I’ll wait patiently to hear about your experience.

If they had only said “Buy 3, Cut Your Price!”.

Just curious (OK, curious and a bit cranky) this bright June Monday morning …

How do you react to this type of advertising? 

How do we promise one thing, but really deliver another?

What works most effectively to get you to buy?

Feeling a tad irritated as I await responses in the Heartland ….



Image:  The Charlatan by Pietro Longhi (1757)  via Wikipedia

“Here’s Why You’re About to Lose YouTube Subscribers” via Mashable

ScaredHere’s Why You’re About to Lose YouTube Subscribers

Good example of making good news sound like bad news ….

YouTube is doing what many other social media sites should be doing diligently … cleaning house.  

Of course, this headline will definitely attract more attention, so …

If you have subscribers on your YouTube account, be glad someone is trying to make the numbers real … then think about why everyone else is not doing this more often.

Bracing for the impact of losing one of my two subscribers in the Heartland ….



Spring Has Sprung …

20140425_132222Spring means more to modern man than it did to his forefathers.  It brings the hopeful and ever-recurring reminder that there are more pleasant things to look at than television.”

Bill Vaughn in the Kansas City Star

Yes, indeed … spring is working its magic …

20130807_161736I was raised on a farm, from which I “escaped” at the earliest possible moment, never to return as a full-time resident, but only as a visitor, who has grown increasingly respectful of the value of being right out there every day with nature, weather, and life.

Even as a confirmed “city boy”, I still enjoy being outside more than inside.  I like the feel of rain and wind against my face, and even when nature turns violent, part of me is just as excited as when I was much smaller.

Spring is particularly evocative … probably because many of us spend our winters trying to avoid the outside as much as possible.   When spring finally arrives, as it is doing now in the Heartland, we venture outside more often and more happily.  Our step lightens and we look for simple things to appreciate.  Forget the fancy restaurant or slaving in the kitchen … just throw some meat and vegetables on the grill and stretch out to enjoy the sunset as the meal cooks.

I like spring … it reminds me that things change … 

20140428_132631Of course, after spring comes summer with those often oppressive days of heat, humidity, and sizzle.  Then comes autumn, which always delivers around two weeks of absolutely glorious turning leaves and cool, comfortable weather, before giving way to winter, with its crisp and brittle air, the chill in the ground, and the snow on the fly.

Then will come spring … again.

I find this comforting … because I apply this same thinking to the cycles that tend to occur in organizations and with our work.  We grow, we maintain, we retreat, and we regain momentum.  The slow times and bad times are not the end, nor are the good times.

Keep living and working … it beats the alternative and makes being on the planet ever so much more pleasant in the whole …

Loving the season that I am experiencing in the Heartland ….