Dancing In The Aisles …

Dance 1Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order.

Samuel Beckett


We all start our lives knowing this simple rule of living … little children dance with abandon and style, literally moving to their own music.

We don’t even have to learn this rule … it comes naturally at a very early age.

What happens as we get older?

We get cautious …

We get self-conscientious …

We get a little creaky …

We forget that dancing comes before thinking.  When you move, your body feels looser and your brain engages in a different way.  You are more prepared to think effectively.  Exercise is recommended daily for this very reason.   Healthy body, healthy mind …

Do not spend time reflecting on this one.  Just get up and move to the rhythm for a while, now, wherever you are, even if you are the only one who can hear the music and are the only one dancing.

Others may not join in, but they probably secretly want to.

If you do this without regret or concern, I can promise that your day will not be the “same old, same old“:).

Cutting a rug and not really caring who sees it in the Heartland ….


That great Image is from Morguefile.com.

Status Symbols …

Sport Car“Status Symbol:  What your neighbor has two of and you don’t have one of.”

Author:  Unknown but astute

Well, most of us are familiar with the creeping sense of envy that comes from someone else having something we do not have.   Interesting that when we see someone else with something we do not have, we often then want that thing … regardless of other logic about whether we need that thing.

Entire industries depend on this very human foible … a notable example being the consumer electronics folks, who love to come up with something we did not know we wanted until we saw the ads and inhaled their heady promises of paradise reached.

This applies pretty much the same to work situations, life style choices, and all that stuff on the Wheel of Life.  It’s not just about way smarter and bendable smartphones or ever-lighter laptop/tablet/combos. 

You may be holding on to career and work-life goals simply because you see others who have attained those goals. You may engage in behaviors and have aspirations because you believe you are supposed to do or want them?  

Maybe you have trouble clearly delineating your authentic hopes and dreams, because you allow what others hope, dream, and do to sway your thinking.

So the questions to ponder today are simple:

What are you lusting after because someone else has it?

Why are you doing this to yourself?

What could you do instead?

Wondering how to get hold of the latest and greatest portable electronic communications device in the Heartland ….


Image:  From Morguefile.com and in no way representative of the author’s dreams or desires … I’d want one in electric blue, for goodness’ sake.

What Was I Saying? …

Focus“The surest way to remember something is to try to forget it.”

via Anonymous, who sure has a lot to say about things

Interesting, isn’t it? … We want to forget something, so we try very hard to not think about it.

This, of course, results in us focusing on the thing we want to forget even more than we probably were before.

Focus creates learning and our brains record what we focus on.

So, following this logic, the only real way to forget something is to not think about it.  Try that and see how it works:).  Personally, I’ve always found trying not to think about something to be a sure-fire way to think about it.

The very act of trying not to think about a thing makes us think about it.

Some better options:

1)  Deal with whatever you would rather forget – take away its power to engage you.

2)  Get real busy doing something you love.  Distraction is a sure path to forgetting.

3)  Learn to live with memories … they are not real, just thoughts.

For a more in-depth and probably more valid discussion of remembering and forgetting, check this link:  Eight Ways to Remember Anything

In the meanwhile, I’ll be trying to forget something (what it is slips my mind at the moment) in the Heartland …


Demanding Attention …

Apple for TeacherThe Story:

Walking into a noisy classroom, the teacher slapped her hand on the desk loudly and ordered sharply, I demand pandemonium!”.  The class quieted down immediately.

You see, it isn’t what you demand,” explained the teacher, “so much as it is the way in which you demand it.

Source:  Multiple humor sites online

The Points:

1)  How we say something can be more important than what we are saying.

2) Actions emphasize our messages.

3)  Students today are no better at knowing the real meaning of a word than in past times.

In your role as a leader, facilitator of learning, or a colleague, how has word use affected your ability to collaborate and communicate?

What have you done to change this?

Just a few things to think about over this spring weekend in the Heartland ….


Image:  Morguefile.com 

“Fill ‘Er Up” …

Service Station“A motorist saw a sign “Bob’s Service Station –  Last Chance for Seventy-Cent Gas –  State Line One Mile Ahead”.

He stopped and had his tank fillled, then asked “How much is gas across the state line?”.

Answered the attendant “Sixty-five cents”

Source:  Anonymous and from memory

Okay, this probably apocryphal story is obviously set in a time long ago, which remains now only in some of our memories. 

Gas prices under a dollar a gallon?

… had his tank filled …” as in not self-service?

The trip was not planned using MapQuest, Google, and all the other fascinating apps we have now to help us do just about everything?

Sigh …Grandpa, tell me again about the olden days …

While we may not be rooked into paying more for gas now, we still tend to make the larger thinking errors indicated by this quaint and slightly dated story.  

I am going to make three useful observations about this little story that still help us in today’s much more expensive , volatile, and highly political world.  Whether you are entering the work force, in the middle of your career, contemplating the new “retirement”, or just trying to get along every day, remember these things to engage your critical thinking skills:

1)  Be careful about what you read and react to … sometimes it’s not what is said, but what is not said.

Notice that the sign contained NO misleading or incorrect information.  The thinking errors occured in the driver’s mind, not in the communication they received.

We judge others based on superficial aspects, such as appearance, voice, culture, and setting, and not do the hard work of getting to know the person.  This results in massive misuse or simple non-use of potential in our teams, organizations, and society.

2)  Do not assume, which we have all heard before and yet still fall into doing on a regular basis. 

Making assumptions is hard to avoid in this world, especially given the sophistication of technologically-driven mass communication, the dizzying speed of social and organizational change, and just the sheer volume of information with which we are “pelted” every single day.

Our bias for action encourages us to make assumptions, fed by well-meaning folks who forget Cheryl Bachelder’s caution to us that “Action does NOT equal results” in every case.  We do not always insist on having the time to not rely on assumptions.

3)  Whether considering where to  stop for gas or what career move to make, you always need to ask questions.

Questions, well-phrased and intentional, are golden arrows which fly to the heart of our goals and objectives.

When you ask the right question to the right person at the right time … well, things just seem to go more smoothly then, don’t they:).

Think about all this next time you fill up the old Hupmobile or family truckster.

Meanwhile, I am giving thanks that I have a car for which I pay outrageous gas prices to keep it filled in the Heartland ….



Image:  Wikipedia page on “service stations”