Technique Overload

I’m not a self-improvement junkie, but it’s certainly something that I have interest in. The process began years ago when one of my managers at Microsoft introduced me to an assortment of books and resources on the topic, most notably Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Since then I’ve done a lot of reading, tried an assortment of time-management tools, watched videos, and tried various … I’ll call them “techniques”.

I ended last year over-techniqued.

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Not. My. Monkeys.

I have opinions.

(I’ll wait for everyone that knows me to stop laughing….)

I tend not to be terribly shy about sharing said opinions.

(Again, another pause for the audience to catch their breath….)

I recently read an article that discussed how the Dutch are somewhat more “brutally honest” when it comes to opinions, and are often puzzled when people don’t accept and understand that they’re offered with the best of intentions. My Dutch heritage apparently runs deeper than I thought.

Of late, though, I’m trying to take a different approach when I react and want to share something I think important. And a simple phrase is helping.

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My Top 5 Books for 2016

I was surprised to find that according to GoodReads, I’ve read over 30 books this year. Honestly, that’s a higher number than I expected. I’ll call a couple of them “also-rans”, meaning I might have bailed early, or given them the “scanning” rather than “reading” treatment, but even so – that the number of “real reads” is even around 25 is gratifying.

So, if Bill can do it, so can I: here are the top five books I found most valuable this year.

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Be The Change…

I’m dumbfounded. I’m ashamed. I’m embarrassed.

I’m dumbfounded by the results. Like many I never thought someone this clearly unqualified for the job stood a chance of getting it.

I’m ashamed of the results. “We the people” are not at all who I thought were were. I am ashamed of the fact that so many people honestly, truly believe that someone who speaks to the worst in human nature would be the better choice to lead this country.

I’m embarrassed by the results. Nothing more publicly demonstrates what “we the people” really are than who we elect to lead us. We’ve just confirmed every outrageous stereotype of “the ugly american” to the rest of the world. As a people we are more like him than not. And that’s embarrassing.

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It’s the Thought that Counts

It's the thought that counts Over the last few weeks we’ve seen reports of another celebrity scandal where some high profile individual is losing their business, their connections and basically their reputation because of some words that they’ve used in the past.

As I’ve discussed before, we give bad words too much power. Heck, we give mildly offensive words too much power – by considering them “offensive” at all.

Honestly, it’s not the words that matter.

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Courage

Words like courage and leadership and inspiration are hard to define and quantify, yet we know each when we see examples around us. Sometimes it seems that as a culture we perhaps use them a little too often and by doing so devalue their use when they’re more truly appropriate.

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What Language!

Oh My!
Some years ago I was chastised by a reader for using the word “sucks”, as in “networking sucks”. He took pains to point out that its origins were pornographic (I’d throw in beastiality as part of the origin depending on your corner of the world – at least in my highschool there was always a donkey involved), and that my use of it was vulgar, and even so far as to promote the decline of the language.

I can sort of see his point, but in reality when I write for Ask Leo! I write to be *accessible*. That means I try to write using familiar terms and in a conversational style that people can relate to, and of course understand.

Almost everyone relates to something sucking.

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A 9/11 thought…

The best way to honor those that lost their lives 10 years ago today is not to ruminate on the horrors, but rather perhaps pause briefly & remember … and then move forward; live a full and happy life, and every day be thankful that you are able to do so. I’ll probably avoid most … Read more

Fighting with Dragon

No, the title is correct, I’m not fighting with dragons I’m fighting with Dragon. Specifically I just had a nightmare scenario with Dragon NaturallySpeaking that I wanted to document.

I do want to be clear however that I think Dragon NaturallySpeaking is fantastic technology. Speech recognition dictation is just magical to me. In fact I’m using it right now to dictate this very post. (It’s not perfect, so do keep an eye out for speech recognition mistakes, I think I caught them all but very easy to miss. It is pretty darn accurate, though.)

The problem was getting here.

A couple of days ago I apparently started experiencing tendinitis in my left wrist. It was quite painful and after drugs and ice didn’t really help I decided to wrap my wrist in such a way that would prevent certain kinds of motion. That helped.

But of course it made typing next to impossible.

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Half Century Mark

50 years ago today, 9 months after a snowstorm hit the greater Victoria, B.C. area (or so I’ve been told), I showed up.

It’s been quite the ride, so far.

An interesting thing to watch as you age are your beliefs and opinions. Some solidify (into concrete, if my father is any indication), and others meld and morph and turn into things you never would be predicted at an earlier age.

I think they call it growth. But I could be wrong. Or you may not agree. Whatever.

So, using this half-century mark as an excuse, I thought I’d jot down a few things…

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It’s Not the End of the World

But, sadly, apparently many people believe it is. After a particularly divisive campaign, it’s all come down to this: George W. Bush is our president for four more years. Prior to the election I heard people say that they would be scared, should Bush win. I took that to be common political rhetoric and assumed … Read more