Archive for October, 2010

Bumbling is Humbling

October 31, 2010

Once I get past my initial dismay over making a dumb mistake or a poor decision, I feel gratitude for having made it. Rather than beat myself up for my errors, I challenge myself to look for the lessons in the mess I just made. Whether you believe that specific things happen in order to deliver specific lessons is irrelevant. No matter what the circumstances are, a brief excursion into introspection never fails to produce ideas on how I can become better and how I can avoid screwing up like that the next time the opportunity presents itself.

It constantly happens that the Lord permits a soul to fall so that it may grow humbler.
Saint Teresa of Avila

My mistakes remind me that perfection is an unreasonable goal and that humility is a necessary portal to enlightenment. Humility in no way (more…)

Kid Logic. Gotta Love it!

October 30, 2010

Years ago, when I was a baseball card dealer, I would set up a table at weekend-long shows and buy and sell sports cards. At one show, a boy who looked to be about eight years old pointed at the 1962 Jim Brown card I had in my glass display case of valuable cards and asked me how much it was. The price was clearly marked but I was always happy to talk to customers. “That’s Jim Brown, one of the all-time great running backs,” I said. “It’s twenty-five dollars.” He looked confused. Very earnestly, he asked, ” (more…)

Spicy Italian Proverbs

October 29, 2010

Dan Scopazzi performs as a stand-up comedian under the name Dan St. Paul

My good friend Dan Scopazzi and I worked on a novelty book project some years back called Spicy Italian Proverbs. Dan, whose parents were born and raised in Italy, speaks Italian fluently. In fact, he dubbed some Italian dialogue in the movie The Godfather: Part III. Dan, a professional (and very talented) comedian who lives in San Francisco, performs under the name Dan St. Paul.

I hope you enjoy Dan’s collection of spicy Italian proverbs. Most of them are followed by (more…)

The Whispering of the Hours Turns to Music

October 28, 2010


Find work that you love and you will be in harmony with life’s soft, sweet melody, adding your instrument to the celestial orchestra that serenades the farthest reaches of the universe.



When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
Kahlil Gibran

If you do not love what you do, you (more…)

If Today Were Your Last Day on Earth . . .

October 27, 2010

If today turned out to be your last day on earth, did you spend it wisely?

Were you kind to others or so wrapped up in yourself that you didn’t even notice how you could have comforted someone in need of an encouraging word?

Wherever there is a human being there is an opportunity for kindness.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Did you make someone else’s life better? Reaching out to others through generosity of spirit is perhaps the greatest gift we can give to each other and to ourselves.

Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.
Rabbi Harold S. Kushner

Did you try to (more…)

“You’re Really Good at What You Do”

October 26, 2010

At the post office today, I was helped by a clerk who has always been unfailingly courteous, professional and friendly. Her articulate English and Chinese accent told me that she’d worked hard to learn the language and make a life for herself in a foreign country, a difficult and often under-appreciated accomplishment and one that I cannot even begin to imagine tackling myself.

As she handed me my change, I told her, “You know, I’ve been (more…)

I’m Thinking Of You

October 25, 2010

The other day I left a quick voicemail for a woman who I’ve come to know. She had been planning and organizing a huge annual event for many months and it was the night before the big day. I just wanted to wish her good luck and say that I hope the event was everything she hoped it would be.

Who can you think of right now that could use a few words of encouragement and support? Who can you affirm in the next five minutes that would appreciate hearing a few friendly words? Why not take two or three minutes to give them a quick call or fire off a one-line e-mail?

Would you appreciate being (more…)

Where Your Talents and the World’s Needs Cross

October 24, 2010

Your odds of upgrading your work life rest on how you answer two questions: How bad do you want it? and What are you going to do about it?

If you don’t like where you are, then change it! You’re not a tree.
Jim Rohn



If you cannot afford to quit your current job, devote every spare moment to creating or landing your dream job.

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.
Ecclesiastes 9:10

Odds are that a new job will represent (more…)

The Whimsical World of Amy Krouse Rosenthal

October 23, 2010

AMY KROUSE ROSENTHAL (1 OF 5)



Amy Krouse Rosenthal

It was a real pleasure interviewing Amy Krouse Rosenthal, an author and filmmaker who’s built a loyal following through her many books and videos. Amy is a true Renaissance woman and a clever, creative purveyor of wisdom, wonder and whimsy. She is a maker of movements and creator of community. I find her fresh ideas and light-hearted, good-natured videos tremendously appealing.

Amy’s  latest project with Chicago Public Radio is MISSion Amy K.R., for which she creates an interactive mission every week. Amy’s children’s books were featured in a profile piece in the New York Times and her (more…)

As Scarce as Oxygen

October 22, 2010

If you despise your job so much that you find yourself wallowing in despair, begin circulating your resume.

Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste,
it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
Kahlil Gibran





The vast majority of people who complain (more…)

Life Is Eager to Prove Your Limits False

October 21, 2010

Do not settle for a job that requires you to check your spirit at the door; your right livelihood calls for you to bring your whole self to the workplace. What does that look like? You speak and act authentically, and value your values more than your paycheck.

When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.
Betty Bender

If you are miserable in your current position, recognize that every job you ever had has (more…)

California, Here I Come!

October 20, 2010

When I close my eyes, I imagine I'm standing on the grounds of the Self-Realization Fellowship Hermitage in Encinitas, gazing out at the ocean. This is where Paramahansa Yogananda wrote much of his spiritual classic, "Autobiography of a Yogi."

I’m excited! On November 29, I’m flying out to Encinitas, California, and don’t plan on returning to Minnesota for five months. I’ve never missed a winter in Minnesota and it’s about time I did.

I’ve also never lived anywhere else in the world. Every place I’ve ever called home is within sixty-five miles of where I live right now. It’s time I busted out of my comfort zone and opened myself up to new experiences.

Where am I going to live? Don’t (more…)

Success Is a Staircase

October 19, 2010


Steadfastly seek the right career, and one day the right career will find you. Your right livelihood may feel divinely delivered, but succeeding in it will likely demand significant amounts of study, training, and effort. Beware of any path that does not.



Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas Edison

Mastery cannot be hurried along. Establishing a reputation, building mutually beneficial relationships, and mastering (more…)

Beauty and the Beast of Insecurity

October 18, 2010

Portia de Rossi

As a naive high schooler, I was in awe of pretty girls. I thought they were pretty much perfect creatures who could get lovestruck boys to satisfy their every whim just by batting their eyelashes. Did I mention I was naive? With a capital N?

As I grew older, I realized that good looks, like lots of money or superior intellectual or athletic ability, are no guarantee of happiness and offer no protection from psychological and emotional challenges. Indeed, those who seem to be “the chosen ones” often view their supposed advantages as more curse than blessing.

Case in point: Portia de Rossi—who now goes by her married name, Portia DeGeneres, in private life—an actress whom I, as a (more…)

The Comforts of Home

October 17, 2010

Erin and me outside the Wisconsin cabin

After a week in the woods, I felt more at home in a friend’s cabin in northwest Wisconsin than I do at my shared apartment in Minneapolis, where I’ve lived for more than a year. I don’t view “home” as a physical concept. I feel at home anywhere I have an emotional or spiritual connection or where I’m with people I care about.

I felt at home in the cabin because of the peacefulness of the woods and the generosity of the couple who offered it to me. I felt even more at home there the last two days of my eleven-day stay because my daughter Erin drove up to walk the nature trail with me and spend time together.

I feel at home wherever I am if my daughter is with me. Or my mom. Or my closest friends. I feel at home at Ecopolitan, my (more…)

Yours Was Not Meant to be an Ordinary Life

October 16, 2010





You do not have to be a perfect human being to find or create the job that is perfect for you. Everybody else has shortcomings too; nobody else has your unique blend of strengths and skills.





Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.
Malcolm Forbes

Positive thinkers look at a goal and begin mapping out the steps they can take to achieve it. They know that no worthy objective can withstand the assault of (more…)


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