Saturday, November 21, 2015

From the Mouths of Babes

Doesn’t everyone enjoy a good massage? When our kids were younger, I offered them money for back massages. The agreement worked well, until they got older. I thought the days of two dollar massages had passed until one of our kids complained about muscle soreness from sports practice and talked about needing a massage. Jumping at the possibility of swapping services, I said, “Me, too.” And then, before I could negotiate a deal, our sweet child added, “I guess we’re both dreamers.” 

Talk about crushing a dream. If I want a professional massage, I better start saving for it. Someone (Mike Phillips) once said:  Money will come when you are doing the right thing. Check out the right moves these students are making:


They say you can tell what people value by where they spend their money. Barring the necessary expenses like rent, utilities, and transportation, how would you prefer to spend most of your money?   

This one’s too cute too miss.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

They Said What?

You probably wonder how statements that begin with, “You know what they say… get started.”  They who? You can tell they get respect because people quote them a lot. Maybe “they” is a group of folks who’ve been there, done that, and are willing to hand over the benefits of their experience to everyone else. 

Believe it or not, last week someone claimed to be part of the great “they” mystery. The admission came as a surprise. In the middle of a conversation at our house, someone quoted a theyism, like “You know what they say, you can’t judge a book by its cover.” We all stopped to think about who “they” is. And that’s when a voice said, “I am.” And there you have it—mystery solved—one of our kids is “they.” You know what they say, “Out of the mouths of babes….” 

I never would have guessed that “they” lived in my house. Go figure. You probably thought theyisms came from people like this:


And that’s what one group of “theys” had to say. I hope you found a few words of wisdom for yourself. Who’s the “they” you turn to for solutions to your difficult questions and situations?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Tell Us What You Think

It seems like stores want our feedback on everything we buy. When they send us online surveys immediately after our purchases, it’s like going on a first date and being invited out for a second date before the first date begins. After buying an item, we need to wash, wear, and live with it for a while so we can give accurate feedback on our experience.

As a former market researcher, I recognize the risks of a slanted survey. For example, I saw one customer satisfaction questionnaire that offered two possible ratings—good or very good. That’s not a legitimate survey. In fact, it crosses the line. Customers want their views valued, not manipulated. 

I don’t mind completing good surveys, but I do prefer to skip the rambling and repetitive ones. Checking off a lot of little boxes and filling out boring forms is no fun. A focus group is a whole different situation, especially when you toss in a couple of celebrities. Have a look:  



What major cultural issues do you want addressed and with which influential person do you want to voice your concerns and opinions?

Saturday, October 31, 2015

No Need to Fear?

I’m an avid supporter of the underdog, even when it comes to life on the Serengeti. I saw an animal show where five baboons chased down a baby gazelle. The babies aren’t much of a meal, but I guess food was scarce. The baboons played a gruesome game of Keep-Away, while the mother tried to rescue her baby. Finally, one of the baboons carried it up into tree. The mother stopped, looked around, and ran circles around the tree. Looking confused, she ran from one spot to the next, searching for the little gazelle. 

I felt like snatching the baby from the baboon’s mouth and handing over to its mother. But, there’s the other perspective. Maybe the baboons were close to starving. Life is hard for both sides. Consider another scenario. Who would you cheer for in this match up? 

Although the lions’ faces made me feel bad for them, I’m in favor of the men feeding their families.  Considering all the facts, the hunters did leave part of the kill for the lions, and they get loads of bonus points for their bravery. Kudos to the first guy who decided to use that hunting technique. In the presidential run-offs and elections, what key, underlying factors determine who you support?       

Friday, October 23, 2015

Hijack the Future

This week’s beautiful weather almost made us forget what the future holds. Ignoring the red and orange leaves, the high temperatures nearly convinced us to anticipate a second summer. But, we know the truth, right? Get ready to smile if you enjoy cold weather because, based on normal patterns, winter is on the way. No doubt about it. Or is there?

In addition to the cultural and political turmoil, the weather’s turning chaotic, too. Think about the monster hurricanes, record heat, and unprecedented snow accumulations we’ve seen. Forecasters think they can predict the weather until this happens:


Given the unexpected news stories, the future is as unpredictable as ever. One of the best ways to impact the future is to manage the present. If we want to see ourselves at a specific place in the future (call it point C), we need to be prepared to execute points A and B. What steps can you take now to impact your future?               

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Crucial Talk

Look around and you‘ll see Halloween decorations popping up throughout the neighborhood. It’s the time of the year when people who are eager for Christmas decorations put up black and orange lights instead. And it’s the time when neighbors complain about the master decorator whose creativity makes the adults scream. Take a look:


This squabble could continue for years. While the master decorator enjoys the holiday, his neighbors may think about “Halloweening” the decorator. Next year, if the two sides talk to one another instead of talking to other neighbors, police, and the media, maybe they’ll work out their differences. Talking begins with a civil, face-to-face conversation. What’s the crucial conversation you’ve avoided until now?      

Saturday, October 10, 2015

What Do You Mean?

Kids say the funniest things. They surprise us because we forget about the amount of thinking that goes on in those little bodies. If you have a child or small relative, then you probably have an own experience of when a kid’s comment caught you off guard.

I remember the story about a relative who was heading off to work. She stopped in her tracks when her straight-faced second grader said, “You look like a clown.” Her outfit, in all of its polka-dotted glory, ended up back in the closet.

Yesterday I asked one of our kids a question about doing homework. I got a blank look, so I said, “You look as though I asked you to eat a cow.” Our youngster replied, “I probably could if it was seasoned right.” You never know what kids will say. Here’s more:


The one little girl offered serious advice: You don’t need a raise. Problem solved. Wouldn’t it be nice to get the “perfect” advice for every situation? We all need someone to tell us the truth without tip-toeing around an issue. What advice have you been hesitant to give?