One Billion Dollars Pledged …


File:Kickstarter logo.svg

Yeah … We are talking about another of those whimsically named online programs that sometimes come and go with dizzying speed.

Kickstarter is different …  

As they say where I’m from, this one has legs.  Here are some reasons I like and support Kickstarter:

The donations can be quite small.  It’s not all about going after the big money … it’s about how much different your few dollars make when combined with many other’s few dollars.

People can vote their passions.  You  support ideas or activities that speak to your heart … this puts power into the hands of many instead of the hands of a few.

Creativity is rewarded.  Not through massive album sales or packed stadium concerts, but where it actually resides … with individuals and small groups who decide to do something exciting and different.

The power of the Internet is shown.  People connect with other people to do good regardless of location … your investment might be on the far side of the world or right down the street.

Read more about where that one billion dollars is coming from at:

 The Top 10 Countries by Money Pledged on Kickstarter   

When you visit Kickstarter, and you will …You might just find something worthwhile to donate a few dollars to and help some folks who you do not know exist … yet.

Wondering who to invest in next in the Heartland ….

John

Some Thoughts About Being Mellow …


Confidence“Mellow doesn’t always make for a good story, but it does make for a good life.”

Rita Hamel

Yesterday I talked about making choices between an epic life and a quiet life.  Today, my thoughts are pulling me in a somewhat different direction.

Mellow …

The word conveys an easy acceptance of life, an ability to put things into a perspective which allows us to avoid negative confrontations, enjoy the little things, and generally live our lives more pleasantly.

Who would not want this?

Mellow is often thought of as a desired state, the ultimate in cool and collected, as how we all ought to be.

But when you look at people who have accomplished great things, they were usually anything but mellow.

So maybe mellow is not always good?

Maybe mellow is not an end in itself.

I am pretty mellow … when things are going well.

I am mellow to the max … when my home is warm and my family is safe.

I am the Man with the Mellow … when I think only in terms of me and mine.

Just a thought in the middle of the major holiday season of our year, but maybe mellow is not enough, unless it includes other people, people we may not even know.  

Maybe mellow comes from sharing what we have with others.

Sitting here in a very mellow state and thinking about others in the Heartland …

John

BTW:  Since I am now suffering from an earworm, I cannot resist sharing this link to “Mellow Yellow” by Donovan, one of the most insidious pop songs ever published.  Enjoy …

I Worry About You …


“You’ll worry a lot less about what people think of you when you realize how little time anyone spends thinking of you.  They’re too busy with their own stuff.”

This was today’s Great Work Provocation.   These little gems appear regularly in my inbox and are never deleted without reading.  I will always make time to open any message from Box of Crayons,  because I can trust that value resides within.

I have never been disappointed or proven wrong in this belief.   Great Work Provocations are keepers.

The source of this ongoing stream of wisdom is  Michael Bungay Stanier, whose latest book is Do More Great Work.   When you visit his site, and you will want to do so, you’ll see much, much more good stuff being done with Michael providing the primary drive.

I have followed Michael’s work for years and can safely say that he is one of the most clear-headed, energetic, and thoughtful change agents and leadership guys out there.

… but don’t take my word for it.  I have obviously drank the Koolaid, as one unfortunate cliché goes.    

Spend a few minutes on Box of Crayons – I can promise that the time will be well spent, especially if you like creative, positive, and useful workplace learning and behavior advice, offered with just a dash of humor and whimsy:)

Loving this trusted source in the Heartland ….

John

It’s All A Matter of Perspective …


A man and his son are listening to the radio after supper.  The son says “Dad, tell me again how you had to walk all the way across town in all kinds of weather to get to school every day.”

A man and his son are watching television when the kid says Hey, Dad, tell me again how when you were my age you had to walk all the way across the room to change the channel.”

A man and his son are at Starbucks playing a MMOG?  on their phones when the son pipes up “Dad, tell me again about when you were young and had to actually plug a cord into the wall to go online.”

So what’s YOUR son or daughter going to ask you about the “good old days”?

Reminiscing and being laughed at for my trouble in the Heartland ….

John

Enough of This Positive Thinking Already!


“I am so sick of all the positive thinking messages that are infesting Facebook!”

Not quite an exact quote, but close enough for accuracy and my purposes.

This comment was recently made in an online post, along with a request for those who are tired of the constant stream of “think good thoughts” and positive quotes that seem to be flooding many online networking sites these days to add their voices.   The underlying message seemed to be:

1)  Life is hard and those who post positive messages are ignoring that fact.

2)  Positive thinking is shallow and not reality-based.

3)  We are seeing an epidemic of people sharing sappy feel-good messages on social networking sites.

4)  Without context, all this is just annoying.

Ahem … let me respond, since I am one who posts, reposts, and shares positive thinking from a wide variety of sources on a daily basis.

First, you are right, to some extent.  I am seeing much more posting and sharing of all types of positive thoughts, from religious to whimsical to thought-provoking.  We just disagree about the value of what we both see.

Second, this is a response to the times in which we live.   Life is not easy for many these days, with little relief in sight.   Hard times tend to affect people in one of two distinct ways:  We either get more focused on thinking positively or we fall into thinking negatively.

Third, while posting a positive thought does not change the physical or economic reality of the world, benefits do accrue.  When I post a happy thought:

1)  I am reminded that not all is doom and gloom and politics.   Life does contain little treasures, if we just pay attention.   I am not denying the negative when I focus on the positive – just making a decision, the same one we all can make.

2)  I firmly believe that sharing positive thoughts helps others.  Maybe to ninety-nine folks, what I share is just trivial, simplistic, or trite.   To that one other, it may be just what they need at the time to make it through another day.  I know other’s sharing has helped me.

3)  I feel better because I am sharing positively, rather than negatively.  Sort of like engaging in empathy rather than sympathy – both are focused on the challenges faced by others, but empathy is infinitely more helpful than sympathy.  I can feel sorry for someone, but when I take the time to understand their emotions, I am in a better position to help them.

4)  I do not believe that positive thinking denies reality.   The very need to engage in positive thinking reinforces the realities which which we all deal every single day.

Life can be challenging.  Better to face it with a smile than a frown.

I should share that thought … 🙂

I honestly enjoy thinking , creating, and sharing positive thoughts with others.  I plan to keep right on and I hope you will too

Thinking in terms of abundance rather than scarcity in the Heartland ….

John