Category Archives: Passion

Shake It Up

You need to establish routines to persist, to make something you desire unconscious. But what about when the things you do are unconsciously bad? You do things automatically but they don’t work. They don’t help. They may even make things worse. Then you shake it up. You change it up. You break the routine. For example, if sitting at your computer is not working for you, stand up. Go outside. Try doing what you do in the morning in the afternoon, and vice versa. Rip up your To Do list. Try walking sideways to get the coffee. Try anything, anything that will shake it up. Any kind of change. What happens when you change something? You come at it with a fresh perspective. Everything is new again in that moment. You are innocent again. And you are more able to play your way into doing what you are passionate about. Learn more:  Change Up! – Teams master change with a mix of team building and training.

Also posted in Play, Put It Together | Comments closed

All other airlines

The rental car shuttle was packed heading back to the Oakland Airport – every seat was filled. There were two stops. Stop #1 was ‘All Airlines Except Southwest’. Stop #2 was ‘Southwest’. The bus driver stopped at the first stop and called out ‘all other airlines’. No one moved. He waited, then drove on to the Southwest stop and we all got out. Is this what air travel has come to? What makes Southwest different? My reason is price, vibe, no major extra fees to get a decent window seat in the front half of the airplane and bags fly free. This is positioning – you see where everyone positions themselves and then you decide not to live there. You find your own place, a different spot away from the crowd. All other airlines and Southwest Living and acting from your passion does this. Your signature strengths are yours alone. There’s no one exactly like you in the world, there’s only you. Simple right? But we also have in our ancestral brains the desire to hide, to not stand out. It’s safer that way. So we hide the light. We try not to be weird. We feel safe, but not happy. And we become replaceable. If you were no longer here, who would miss you? Why? That missing will help you realize what makes you uniquely you. And when you know what makes you “you” you have a choice. Be like everyone else or be you. It’s scary stuff, I’m with you on that. The first stop is ‘all other people’. Don’t get off. Stay on the bus until the next stop…you. Learn more:  Influence: The Power of Persuasion - How can we consistently capture an audience, effectively make a point and carry everyone along toward a goal? How can we influence an outcome, even if we’re not in a position of authority? Customer Quest - What does it take to set a standard of excellence in customer care? What does the customer really want and how can you provide it for them?  

Also posted in Strengths | Comments closed

Two boys playing with $100,000,000

Dunkirk Director Christopher Nolan and cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema are everywhere in behind the scenes photos of the filming of the movie Dunkirk. It looks like the $100 million movie that two boys filmed. That’s the two of them in the water next to the plane in the photo above. Hoytema is the bearded man on the left and Nolan is the blonde man on the right. After all the preparation for filming – I’m sure it’s a long journey from idea to writing to funding to first day on set – the arduous task of actually filming the movie is like finally arriving at your favorite playground. They weren’t letting anyone else do the fun part – the actual doing the work, filming the movie. And that was where they played with their creativity. Story after story in interviews told of ‘never been done before’. Like Roger Bannister’s miracle mile they turned impossible into reality. It was not easy. Hand in hand with ‘never been done before’ is ‘how do we do this’? Trial and error involves a lot of error to learn. In a $100,000,000-spending high stress situation there’s a lot riding on success. And the water in the English channel is not known for its balmy temperatures. 59 degrees Farenheit is normal for June. Most of the movie was filmed outside in the real original Dunkirk locations. Weather was unpredictable and rarely cooperative. Towards the end of filming production moved onto a set for some of the water scenes. Many of the crew and producers were relieved that everything just got easier – controlled environment, temperature, no worries about rain, tides, waves. But not Hoytema. “On days like this Chris and I would look at each other and say, ‘I don’t like this.’ It’s warm, the water is acceptable in temperature. This is all too convenient and it’s all too nice. [Laughs] It’s something you have to learn to live with.” Play isn’t meant to be easy. Too easy, too ‘convenient and nice’ and the fun is drained from it. Play is meant to engage us, enthrall us, take us over. To finally be immersed, joyfully engaging a challenge. If you want to play more, you might look for the places that are difficult already and bring in the play element. Or if you’re really brave, look for your equivalent of $100,000,000 on the line. Take the leap and jump in. The water’s either fine or (hopefully) cold enough to shock and excite you into play.

Also posted in Change, Leadership | Comments closed

Every Journey Is a Hero’s Journey

I recently returned from two weeks ‘out of the office’ in the Dominican Republic. It was…really out of the office – a real journey and a real break. My computer stayed home and my phone went into airplane mode until I was back in the states. Every journey can be a hero’s journey. You move into the unknown, get something, bring it back home to your tribe. Carl Jung said, “I feel it is the duty of one who goes his own way to inform society of what he finds on his journey of discovery.” You’re the tribe I’m part of. You’re my society. By telling you my insights my little trip becomes a hero’s journey. Here are three gifts I’d like to share with you. Perspective: When I moved away from the jittery speed of daily email, news, social media, public controversies, much of what we think as important looked pretty meaningless to me. Few things matter in the world, but they really matter. And the daily grind can obscure the important stuff. Appreciation: On getting back to the states I noticed how wonderful it was to run the tap and drink the water without purifying it with a backpacker’s water pump. Visiting a supermarket with ample fresh vegetables and fruit made my heart sing. The English language, the organization, the familiarity all were appreciated. Things that were unnoticed or that annoyed me were seen in a fresh way Return to the core: I don’t need much to make me happy and fulfilled. And those things have remained the same for almost 50 years. A lot of the daily grind I choose has nothing to do with my core delights. When I do return to the core, I’m at peace in a way that is both familiar and too rare. You can make your work day, your weekend, anything a hero’s journey. You don’t even need an articulated quest. All it takes is to step into the unknown for even a moment. And then tell us about what you learned. Here’s to your hero’s journey this month, this week, this hour, this life.

Also posted in Purpose | Comments closed

Squirrels don’t do daylight savings time

I set the clocks forward. And I looked out the window at a squirrel chasing another squirrel in the snow. And the birds at the feeder. And the chipmunks that just came out of hibernation, also running over the snow. They are on the same clock they were yesterday, and the same clock that they will be on tomorrow and the next day, and the day after that. They don’t do clock time. They do energy time. And ‘earth around the sun’ time. So do we, really. Clock time allows us to be in agreement with each other about things that we deem important. But we are animals too. And our primary time is measured in energy, not with the clock. Live by your ‘energy time’. Do the most important things that you are most passionate about during the time of day where you have the most energy. And don’t make any important decisions or try to do anything important in your ebb tide of energy in your day. Long before we humans had clocks, we had energy. If you want to live your passion today follow your daylight energy time.

Also posted in Resiliency | Comments closed

Quest Story: Around the World In Twenty Days – Savoring the Adventure

On March 1, 1999 Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones set off in a balloon from Switzerland in an attempt to become the first piloted balloon to fly around the world nonstop. Here is Piccard as he savors his adventure in this journal entry from the night before their triumphant landing in Egypt twenty days later. During the last night, I savor once more the intimate relationship that we have established with our planet. Shivering in the pilot’s seat, I have the feeling I have left the capsule to fly under the stars that have swallowed our balloon. I feel so privilege that I want to enjoy every second of this air world. During our three weeks of flight, protected by our high-tech cocoon, we have flown over millions of people suffering on this earth…Why are we so lucky? Very shortly after daybreak, [our balloon] will land in the Egyptian sand. Brian and I will be lifted away from the desert by helicopter, and we will immediately need to find words to satisfy the public’s curiosity. But right now, muffled in my down jacket, I let the cold bite of the night remind me that I have not yet landed, that I am still living one of the most beautiful moments of my life. The only way that I can make this instant last will be to share it with others. We have succeeded thanks to the winds of providence. May the winds of hope keep blowing around the world. (National Geographic, Sept. 1999: p44)

Also posted in Persistence, Purpose | Comments closed

Yoga Resources Part 3: Books and DVDs

Yoga Books Moving Toward Balance: 8 Weeks of Yoga With Rodney Yee by Rodney Yee with Nin Zolotow Ashtanga Yoga – The Practice Manual by David Swenson Yoga the Iyengar Way by Silva, Mira and Shyam Mehta Awakening the Spine by Vonda Scaravelli Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar Yoga DVDs  We recommend Rodney Yee DVDs. Look through this list and pick one or two that strike your fancy. They’re available at Amazon.com or his website www.yeeyoga.com. We especially like Energy Balance Yoga, Intermediate Yoga, Yoga Burn, and the Hip-opening segment on the Advanced Yoga DVD. Rodney Yee’s Yoga for Beginners Yoga Burn DVD AM/PM Yoga DVD Back Care Yoga for Beginners DVD Intermediate Yoga DVD Power Yoga Strength and Flexibility Power Yoga Total body Workout DVD Power Yoga: Flexibility Yoga Conditioning for Athletes DVD Abs Yoga for Beginners DVD Strength Building Yoga DVD Power Yoga: Strength DVD Power Yoga: Stamina Back Care Yoga DVD Energy Balance Yoga DVD Family yoga DVD Advanced Yoga With Rodney Yee two-disc DVD set Sports Conditioning Mini Yoga Workouts DVD   Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: Office Yoga – Learn simple techniques to stay productive at your desk or energize your off-site.

Also posted in Persistence, Positive Psychology | Comments closed

Yoga Resources Part 2: Yoga Multi-Media

Yoga Multi-Media We recommend developing a yoga home practice to fully experience the benefits of yoga. If you have an iPod, the best tool by far for developing your practice is Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman’s Yoga Club (www.gaiamyogaclub.com). With this self-paced 12-week program, you receive a combination of nine online yoga videos and 63 podcast classes covering over 75 poses. At the beginning of each week, Rodney and Colleen introduce you to a category of yoga poses (forward bends, backbends, twists, inversions and more) with modifications for different levels, and sequencing principles for personalizing your own yoga program. Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: Office Yoga – Learn simple techniques to stay productive at your desk or energize your off-site.

Also posted in Persistence, Positive Psychology | Comments closed

Yoga Resources Part 1: Yoga Classes

Yoga Classes We are often asked about yoga and what kind of class to check out. There are literally thousands of iterations of what people call ‘yoga’ out there and some will be for you and some won’t. Here are two classic branches of yoga that we recommend: Iyengar Yoga – Recommended if you’re starting your yoga path. The focus on proper form and technique will give you a solid grounding that will serve you for the rest of your life. It’s also recommended if you’re interested in going beyond just the physical benefits to explore the breath and balance in your life. Rob has moved through many interests in yoga but always returns to Iyengar-based yoga. Ashtanga Yoga – Recommended if you’re extremely active already and want a challenging ‘yoga workout’. This set series of postures will especially help you to become leaner, stronger, and more flexible. Email us the name/description of a class you’re thinking of taking if you’d like our perspective – info@quixoteconsulting.com Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: Office Yoga – Learn simple techniques to stay productive at your desk or energize your off-site.

Also posted in Persistence, Positive Psychology | Comments closed

Beauty, Space and Feeling – Life as a Blues Ballad

Beauty, space and feeling. These three things I love in life are most accessible to me as a musician when playing ballads. Other qualities come out easily at higher tempos – joy, energy, delight, play, intensity are a few that come to mind – but beauty, space and feeling have their home for me in the ballad. And especially in a blues ballad. Some examples of the blues ballad are: Angel Eyes, Mood Indigo, Born to Be Blue, Willow Weep For Me, Night Life, Please Send Me Someone to Love, Ray Charles singing Georgia On My Mind and on and on. The great Charles Brown made this genre his home. Combine slow tempos with soul and a blue feeling and I’ll be the first customer at the door. Imagine Ray Charles singing a slow ballad of your work today while you’re moving through it. Play your day with a focus on beauty, space and feeling.

Posted in Passion | Comments closed