“A Walk Around the Lake … “

Creve Coeur Lake - Wallace Stevens

Perhaps it does, Wallace, perhaps it does … I think I’ll go find out for myself.


Sometimes you have to just get off the keyboard, out of the house, and hang out with nature.  I may not find the truth, but I’ll bet this improves my outlook and my health just a tad.

Drinking in a gorgeous Autumn day in the Heartland ….


Image: Me


Strategic Learning Group LLC announces relocation of world headquarters …

In order to more fully use corporate resources, maintain our high level of employee engagement and motivation, and create the most effective corporate image, our organization has decided to move operations to a more conducive environment.  Here’s the view from my new officeSmile.


Patio Shot

This move has already proved successful in improving work productivity and creating a renewed sense of energy among our employees.  

On the other hand, we did not feel like fixing the above photo to recreate the beautiful blue sky that we can see from the corporate headquarters.  If you want to see what we see, you need to come to Missouri.

Working hard and enjoying the day in the Heartland ….


International Coffee Day …

coffeeI almost missed this important occasion, until I ran across this fascinating infographic …

I blame the lapse on not having had my fourth cup of coffee yet this morning …

Enjoy your education, and if you already know all this stuff, just pour yourself another cup of hot liquid heaven and sit back with a contented smileSmile.

Drinking large amounts of “fuel” while I greet the workweek, after a full weekend, in the Heartland ….



Source:  The Daily Infographic at http://dailyinfographic.com/its-international-coffee-day

Letting Some Things Be …

People and Sunsets - Carl Rogers

People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be.

When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.”

I don’t try to control a sunset.

I watch with awe as it unfolds.

                                   ~ Carl R. Rogers


I spend a fair amount of time every day dealing with change in one way or another.  Those of us who believe in the power of  transformational change and transformational leadership emphasis change, because we know that is what brings our better selves into focus and our better futures into reality.

Change is a given in life, whether you welcome it with open arms or cling desperately to a past (which may only exist in your mind).   Change is hard, but worth the pain.  Change is refreshing and gives us energy to do great things.

Of course, not everyone shares these warm and fuzzy feelings about change.

Change is good … You go first.”  

Scott Adams via Dilbert

Some of us automatically look for what could or should change in things.  We are never quietly accepting of what is, because we are always focusing on what could be.  We see ourselves as the great movers of people, organizations, and society.  If it weren’t for us, goodness … we might just sit around and take pleasure in what we already have, such as …

The process that does what it should do adequately …

The system that delivers what it promises without too many glitches…

The colleague who does their job competently, without sharing our dream of being the “World Class Whatever” …

The sunset that takes our breath away and does not ask a penny in return …

Mindfulness includes the idea that sometimes we just become aware of the moment.  We focus on what is, not on what might be or should be, but on what is before us.  The ability to just enjoy a moment or a person has been dented by our modern society … Our sometimes manic emphasis on speed, achievement, and growth has value, but it comes at a cost.

No argument here that some things need desperately to change.  Open your browser or morning paper (depending on your bent) and you will see ample opportunity to improve who we are and how we are.   Sometimes we are impelled to act: 

When things or situations endanger life, liberty, or property, it is time to act . . . 

When your own dissatisfactions affect your ability to get through your day, it is time to act . . .  

When you want a thing so much that you are willing and eager to engage in positive change to achieve that thing, it is time to act . . .

… But sometimes it is time to just sit on the back patio and watch the day come to a gloriously beautiful end.

Forcing myself to take time to just let it be in the Heartland ….


Pesky Truths and Mountain Climbing …

Mountain climbing“If you do not endeavor to climb the mountain, you will never see the view.”

Unknown, but smart person


I have never attempted a real mountain, but I have climbed a few real high hills in my day.  One in particular stands out … Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee, site of a famous Civil War battle and a marvelous natural wonder.  Without going into details, ways exist to scale part of this long bread-loaf shaped national monument.  We did not reach the top, but we enjoyed several spectacular views at various places.  We also had the experience of being in some places where we could vividly imagine the physical struggle of those troops attempting to climb this mountain under fire.

When I first saw the above quotation, I thought to myself “No deep message here, simply a reminder that we have to work for the things in life that we desire.”  Just another reminder that we have to dream high and work hard, while sacrificing and struggling to reach the very tippy-top.

However, a careful reading of the above, along with a little reflection, gives me two additional important truths.


“endeavor to climb” … we do not have to succeed, we just have to try.

The value is in the attempting.  Regardless of what the motivational speakers may promise, nobody is guaranteed success.  Many factors impact who reaches their goals and a good number of these factors are not within our control.  However, we can control how we view things and we can control whether we strive for something or not. 


The view is not just at the top … Look around in mid-journey and you may be delighted.

You can see seven states from the top of Lookout Mountain … but you can several at a time at many points on the slopes.  The exact number and view depend on which slope you are on, while the weather and time of day affect the view as well.   Of course, it’s not always about seeing the most, but about appreciating what you CAN see.

Sometimes we gain much more from taking the time to enjoy whatever is in front of us now than continuing a relentless drive toward the top.  After all, given that we are not assured of success, all we really have is “now” … makes sense to stop and enjoy it.

… and the view from below the summit is spectacular in its own right.


Taking the time to look around and appreciate what I see on the way to fame in the Heartland ….