Archive for the ‘Cultural Ideas’ category

Acting Out of the Box

January 1, 2009

One of the things that I’ve been thinking about lately is how often we take things that are, at first revolutionary, and then relegate them to the role of a staple item. As an example, a business could have made a name for themselves by doing a particular ting or producing a particular product. Eventually, the business prides themselves on being revolutionary by producing the same product.

 

There is a lot to be said for thinking outside the box. Hundreds of books have been written about it, and many are good. The subject of thinking outside of the box is a must in today’s business world, but it takes another step to really make a difference. Thinking is important, but it’s not enough. Thinking is passive. The only way things get done and change really happens is when we stop thinking out of the box and start acting out of the box.

 

Look at your own situation at the beginning of the year. I’m certain you’ve thought about a lot of things you want to do or change. Take one, an in the next five minutes do some action that brings you closer to making it happen. It could be as simple as a phone call or an email. You need to make the call – so make it.

 

Let 2009 be a year of action – and let me know what you’re doing to make 2009 the best year we’ve ever seen!

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Between Christmas and New Years

December 29, 2008

The days that sit between Christmas and New Years have always intrigued me. For months we’ve looked toward the Christmas frenzy and then, in those few days, Christmas is over and the New Year is coming. It is in these days that reflection can come – in between a few naps!

 

Reflection is good and natural at the end of anything, but especially at the end of a year. The most typical feeling I’ve encountered from people can best be explained by St. Catherine of Siena in her dialogues. God is reported to have said to her, “I am He who is; and you are she who is not.” Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever experienced your is-not-ness?

 

If you look back on this year and notice items missing or experiences lost; if you’ve come face-to-face with your is-not-ness, recognize it, reframe your plans and reimagine what the next year can be.

Living Rich For Less

December 17, 2008

Living Rich

So you want to own the home you love, make memories on wonderful vacations with family or friends, finance college educations, and help others too?
 
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Ellie knows what it’s like to be financially-strapped or struggling, wanting to be the Joneses but feeling as poor in spirit as in pocketbook. She went, within two and a half years, from being a new wife and mom with $40,000 in consumer debt and seven children (and college educations) to support, to being completely debt-free and within fifteen years able to pay cash for eleven different cars, give away three of those cars, buy two five-bedroom houses (moving from one to the other) and nicely furnish each, take wonderful vacations, dress her family in fine fashion; and support more than thirty non-profit organizations in more than a dozen different countries, giving away more than $100,000.
 
Isn’t that the kind of transformation to a rich life that you want?
 
Living Rich for Less helps anyone get there in our taxed-out, maxed-out times. Because financial security doesn’t mean just genuine prosperity, but being able to live luxuriously, give generously, and care for yourself as well as the others around you.
 
Why keep up with the Joneses when you can be them?

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Here’s to Change!

December 15, 2008

Sunday was a day for big announcements. John Sloan our bass player was leaving to go to Cincinnati, service times were changing from three back to two services, and I was stepping out into a new place of uncertainty and question marks. Sounds like you should have been there, right?

Change was the topic of conversation. I mentioned Robert Quinn and his book, Deep Change. We all are faced with opportunities to choose Deep Change, yet even in our inaction we make the decision to live within the status quo. The decision to embrace Deep Change is a decision that will shift your way of thinking and making meaning in the world, but it is also the only way in which we can truly grow as human beings. Personal Transformation is a topic that encompasses both the spiritual and mental capacities we posses. In order for a person to experience Spiritual Transformation and Mental Transformation, the lenses with which we see our lives have to also change and be embraced.

The best lenses are the ones we aren’t aware of. When we have a shift in our “seeing”, it takes time for the new lenses to integrate themselves into our lives. The first step is to recognize that the lenses you are currently looking through aren’t letting you see things the way you are accustomed to seeing them. Just like with real eyeglasses, when things start to become hazy and blurry, it’s time for new lenses to clear up your vision.

As I continue on in this journey, I hope you will also share your experiences. I also hope that my decision to embrace transformational change will spur you on to begin your own journey of transformational change.

Tribune Co. files for bankruptcy protection

December 8, 2008

I know this is an odd title for a post, but there are a multitude of things that are happening around us and some are worth mentioning. This is one of them. Today the media giant became the first major newspaper or chain to file bankruptcy in the modern era. This tactic is aimed at relieving financial pressure while the Tribune works out arrangements with it’s creditors.

The Chicago-based company owns a coast-to-coast empire with television stations and newspapers in most of the nation’s largest cities. Its holdings include the Los Angeles Times; cable television superstation WGN in Chicago; the Baltimore Sun; and WDCW-50 in Washington, the CW affiliate. The company also owns the Chicago Cubs.

The reason this is important is that it signals a trend that has been in the background for a while. The old ways of receiving and dispersing information are no longer financially viable and will cease, eventually.

Real estate mogul Sam Zell engineered an employee-owned transition to private ownership one year ago this month. He says, “We believe that this restructuring will bring the level of our debt in line with current economic realities, and will take pressure off our operations, so we can continue to work toward our vision of creating a sustainable, cutting-edge media company that is valued by our readers, viewers, and advertisers, and plays a vital role in the communities we serve,” Zell said. “This restructuring focuses on our debt, not on our operations.”

With the President using the word Recession and the failings and moves by major businesses, the tempo of concern is speeding up among the consumer. The key in all this is to maintain a balanced personal outlook. The fundamentals are called “fundamentals” simply because they remain when everything else is failing. The fundamental of living in Today, the Present, is one we should keep in front of our eyes.

The past is gone, the future is not yet here. Change and Decision can only take place in the magical land of Now. You control Now; your reaction and action. Live on purpose and keep to the fundamentals.

Macon and the Arts

December 5, 2008

 

SoChi Gallery in Downtown Macon

SoChi Gallery in Downtown Macon

Macon, Georgia is a town with a lot of history, but many of the residents of Middle Georgia don’t get to experience it. The interstate veers people away, and years of negative talk about crime have also kept people back.

I’ve posted before about the work being done at the Fountain on Third and Cherry Street in Macon for the homeless. It is a wonderful avenue for people to become engaged in helping their neighbor, but also in seeing the beauty of Downtown Macon.

I just came back from a visit to downtown and met several people who were knowledgeable about the area. The Macon-Bibb County Convention and Visitors Center is a great place to go to get maps and information about things that may be happening  in or around downtown.

One of the places I spent some time was at the Sochi Gallery. They were having a First Friday showing, so I went to check it out. It’s a great little gallery that immediately take you off the street and into a serene space. If you have time go check it out, you’ll love it.

Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting

December 4, 2008

rockefeller-center-christmas-tree_6648

One of my most favorite holiday traditions is watching the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. After the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, the tree lighting is another step closer to Christmas.

Maybe I’m nostalgic, but I like to do a few things year after year, and also keep an eye out for things that can become traditions. For instance this year I found out that my youngest, at age 8, was enthralled with the debates and election coverage. So in 3 or 4 more years we’ll do it again.

This year the kids did the tree themselves (except for a couple on the higher branches). They had a blast and we weeded out some of those fragile balls that you can worry about being broke – no more worries for us!

Loving this time of year; loving experiencing all the sights and sounds of the city and the neighborhood! I really do think “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”.