If you want to produce more…

mill-175832_1280Consume less. Imagine that your production and your consumption add up to 100%. If 70% of your available energy is devoted to consumption that means you have 30% maximum left. That’s all that’s possible to give to producing what you’re meant to produce in the world. Flip those numbers around and you’ve got a lot more space to contribute what you’re put here on earth to contribute.

If you consume more, you are less able to produce. You have less time, less energy, and less internal guidance.

If you consume less, you are more able to produce. You have more time, more energy, and more internal guidance.

What do you need to say NO to in order to say YES to what matters?

Try any of the following: Turn it off. Shut it down. Lift your head.

It’s a simple equation. Not easy, but simple.

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My Favorite Large Group Team Building Memory

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A favorite memory from leading a large group team building activity? On stage leading a Charity Bike Build team building for New Balance, looking out over a sea of people that I had just whipped into a frenzy roaring with excitement. 800 New Balance employees – a global group from Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America – were there at Boston University’s arena to build bicycles for kids.

The planning and logistics took months and months. We customized the Bike Build to implement their ‘move the world’ theme in every aspect, right down to the soundtrack and the challenges.

They built and donated 130 bicycles in 90 minutes, which was a new record for us. And having over 50 Quixote Consulting staff members was like its own team building activity! The New Balance activity is something I’m still very proud of and love those numbers: 800 people, 90 minutes, 130 bicycles donated.

(Make your own favorite memories. Start here:  www.largegroupteambuilding.com)

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A small, clear creek

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“Constant, slow movement teaches us to keep working

like a small creek that stays clear,

that doesn’t stagnate, but finds a way

through numerous details, deliberately.”

-Rumi (from the poem Deliberation)

 

Having trouble keeping going? Are your work and family commitments overwhelming? Try constant, slow movement.

Movement always helps. Even more helpful is the speed of the movement. Yet this speed of movement isn’t actually the process…it’s the teacher, read that first line again. It teaches us to keep working. And not just continuing to work any old stressed-out, exhausted-will way. Work like a small creek, a clear creek. Not a raging, muddy river. Not a dam-burst torrent. Not a dried up puddle. A small, clear creek.

Whether you’ve been lucky enough to spend quality time next to a creek like this recently or not, we all know intuitively what that looks like. “I’ll take that right about now!” we say longingly. Anything is better than the current approach to the fire-hose of work.

Constant, slow movement – keep going and go slower – is our calm, deliberate path through all those details tugging at us today.

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My Change Ritual 2018

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I’m supporting my ‘next 50’* 40 days with:

A walk outside.

Every time I go for a walk – even a short one, even if the weather isn’t amazing – something becomes better. I get reoriented to a part of me I like better. I get a slightly better clearer picture of my ‘place in the family of things’ as Mary Oliver wrote.

So this walk – which I know sounds like its own change attempt – will support my change. It’s a time to drop all the other stuff my brain is chewing on and just focus on my change, to meditate, think, feel, see what comes up.

It’s ideally a walk in nature, but I may be on the road in an urban setting – so ‘anywhere outside’ is fine.

It’s going to happen just like the unofficial Post Office motto:

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

 

Time of day I’ll be doing my ritual

  1. Morning before work begins ideally.
  2. If not then, try for lunch time.
  3. If not then end of day before sunset.
  4. If not then? Out in the dark I go.

 

How I’ll know if I haven’t yet done my ritual each day

My hiking shoes will be sitting by the door.

I won’t have noted it on my tracking form.

My journal will be empty for that day.

 

How I’ll know that I have done my ritual each day

My hiking shoes are on the rack.

I’ve noted it on my tracking form.

I’ve written in my journal.

 

How I’ll make my ritual easy for me to remember

I’ll set my hiking shoes next to the door before I go to bed.

 

How about you?

That’s me this year for 40 days. What’s your ritual? How will you know you’ve taken action on your change today? We want to hear from you.

 

*In case you missed it, here’s my change focus on the eve of the year I turn 50:

What do I carry with me across this threshold?

What do I leave behind, no matter how enticing or safe feeling?

What essential parts of me do I reclaim that I’ve lost track of over the years?

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Get ready for 40 Days to Change For Good 2018

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40 Days to Change for Good begins once again November 11th. This annual tradition (started in 2010) is a simple 40-day ritual of daily working-on-something-that-matters. It has been profoundly helpful to many readers.

Pick something you want to change for good or move ahead on something large that you’re having difficulty persisting with. Day 40 begins November 11 (Veterans Day) and Day Zero is December 21 (the Winter Solstice). Learn more in my e-book (free to you) here.  Curious about what I’m working on this year? Revealed next time!

What will you change? We’d love to hear.

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How did Gordon Hayward get back on the NBA court?

In the first game of the 2017 NBA season, Boston Celtic Gordon Hayward suffered a horrific leg injury, breaking his leg. It ended his season just as it began and put his future ability into question. How would he come back? Could he come back?

He worked tirelessly on his body for 365 days of course, just what you’d imagine he’d do. But he did some other things to help him as well.

Ros Gold-Onwude asked him about getting back on the court for the first game of the 2018 season, one year later. She reported, “Gordon has visualized this very moment with a sports psychologist. He’s visualized walking out in front of fans, making a pass, making a shot. He’s visualized making these simple basketball actions without mistakes and without pain. He also journals. He told me after the game he can not wait to write about the joy of being back on the court.”

He’s done a great job of using the three-legged stool to make positive change happen: action, feeling and thinking.

Action: 365 days of rehab. For example, when unable to run for months he was in the weight room “every single day.”

Feeling: Journaling the lows and after this very special game the highs

Thinking: Visualizing a pain-free return

The ATF trio drives personal change in a powerful way. It brought Hayward back to this moment, even though he said, “I lost a year in my prime of my career. I mean, it’s very frustrating. It’s something I can never get back. But I’ve gained a lot throughout the year.”

Seeing a video montage of his progress that played on the Jumbotron before the game he said, “It brought back a lot of memories, a lot of dark memories and a lot of dark times. But to be honest, it was cool to see some of the progression. They showed just a little bit of everything of me and then finally being back.”

Dark times are what we all are given in life, sooner or later. And the desire to change – to be better, to be the person we were born to be. Action, thinking and feeling will get us there.

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Large Group Team Building

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I’m starting off with some news I’m extremely excited about. Our large group team building site is finally up and live! Check it out at www.largegroupteambuilding.com. Working with large teams is one of my callings. It’ll help us tremendously if you’d take a moment to share this newsletter or the link to the site to someone leading a company or a large team (40- 2,000 people) that has hopes for something better, to start a story that will make change happen. I don’t usually do asks like this – giving is more comfortable to me than asking for something. Hopefully giving you a chance to help people come together and do good work together is a gift in its own way.

It’s the right time for giving. The maple leaves are still holding on, a warm color. And the oak and beech leaves are still green. It’s a classic early November in New England. It’s also the beginning of the season where we gather together into our tribes – team, family, friends, the people that matter. Boundaries of division get a little less strict. There is an impulse to connect.

Thank you for helping me connect, and allowing me to connect with you here in this blog every week.

Here’s to you connecting with what you are most passionate about and with everyone you care about.

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The next 50: My 40 Days to Change For Good 2018

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I’m turning 50 in 2019.

When I was a kid I always imagined I’d live to be 100. It was my number I kept in mind when I made big decisions like: do something you love doing, make sure you have enough money for the life you want to live, be active, eat right, listen to the heart instead of the worried mind.

I may be rounding up by a few years.

The average life expectancy of the US male is 76.9 years. “Dead by 77”, that’s our manly motto! If you’re a US female add five years to that number. (If you’re curious, we’re 31st on the list, just below Costa Rica and just above Cuba – full list here.)

However, since I consider myself –and you dear reader – decidedly above average, I’m sticking with the 100-year number. And I’m banking on good genes – my 87-year-old father was out on the tractor last time I visited. That means this year is (hopefully) my halfway mark.

It’s the perfect time to dedicate some focused time and ask some big questions about what I want the next/last 50 to look like. Questions like:

  • What do I carry with me across this threshold?
  • What do I leave behind, no matter how enticing or safe feeling?
  • What essential parts of me do I reclaim that I’ve lost track of over the years?

I can think of no better way to spend my 40 days to change for good this year. I’m inspired! Also alternately scared, calm, enthusiastic – that’s a good mix of feelings for another powerful 40 days challenge.

Won’t you join me?

As always Day 40 begins November 11, Veterans Day and Day 0 ends on December 21, Winter Solstice, the day the sun begins to return.

What’s your 40 Days to Change for Good?

Let’s inspire each other to be the people we were meant to be.

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What’s it like in today’s chrysalis?

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After a monarch caterpillar is done eating it forms a J shape on the bottom of a leaf and creates a green chrysalis. Inside this pupa, the caterpillar dissolves into a pile of goo. That pile of goo then takes 9 to 14 days to become a butterfly.

When we enter a hero’s journey, we descend into the unknown. Who knows what we will transform into? All we know is it feels like being a pile of goo. And sometimes we notice that something is changing and growing, but often it just feels gooey and scary.

It’s also where the work happens. It’s where we actually transform. We need all the stages to complete a journey but the action part happens in the unknown part.

As a reminder, the outcome of the rest of today is unknown. As is every day for the rest of our lives. Each day is a chrysalis.

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Why large group team building?

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Clients ask me why I lead large group team building activities. Here’s my story.

After performing at Woodstock ’94 I was at a crossroads. A hand injury stopped my professional guitar-playing career cold. I had traveled the world, studied psychology, music, business finance. I wrote music instructional books like Blues Harmonica For Beginners. I loved the passion, play and mutual fun of bringing people together and lifting them up. I wanted to create meaning in people’s lives. I wanted to go deep, not just to make a living, I wanted to make a difference. But I didn’t know how to combine play and purpose.

Then team building found me.

I began guiding large groups of underserved kids from NYC, building teams where it’s needed so badly. Then classes of New England’s top universities, setting a collaborative tone.

By the end of the nineties, I was on stage in Las Vegas, leading a group of 500 corporate salespeople, building Pipelines, guiding them to collaborate as one team through the shear raw power of fun. That was it for me! I knew I had found a calling.

Fast-forward 25 years. My company Quixote Consulting, named after the famous knight Don Quixote, continues the quest to change lives with play and purpose. We use large group team building activities to jumpstart the journey to ‘one team and one goal’. We believe every team is a hero team, and every team of heroes needs a guide.

A large group team building game is a powerful story, one that everyone remembers. We hook the story with the company message, sinking it deeper into long-term memory, cutting through the complexities and frustrations of daily work.

Leading large group team building activities takes a special talent. The logistics are seemingly endless. There’s an intense amount of pressure for a two-hour activity to not just succeed but to be both fun and profound, a game-changer for hundreds of people.

It’s a crazy thing to love doing, but we do. We’re not for everyone, but if our story resonates with you, we might be the right fit. Tell us about your quest and we’ll help you make it come alive.

(Check out www.largegroupteambuilding.com to learn more.)

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