We just don't do this.

It’s a phrase that really upends an organization. A definite ‘no’ to a “what could be”.

Something I think starts to get engrained in a culture that stops questioning and asking if we need to redefine the current way we think about things. Hoping to catch ourselves when this feeling starts to creep up.

Because what got us here wont get us there.

Language, all over.

I'm traveling through Europe this month. And what a lovely delight to hear languages from all around the world.

It flows in the trains, the streets, the restaurants and everything in between. 

Even though they are from far off parts of the world, everyone connects and enjoys their holiday. You feel like a part of something greater. Something special!

Can-do vs. IQ.

What you know is certainly important. Your IQ.

But what I am starting to realize more and more is your ‘can-do’ might be even more important.

The idea that “I am going to pour my heart into something to learn it and do it”, vs. “this is what I know”.

I can, and I will. Versus I know, and that’s it.

Less helping, more hearing.

Sometimes, they don’t need the help. They don’t need a solution, a fix, or anything in between.

They just need to attention and appreciation that I’m going through something difficult. And the best they need is : “I hear you. Sorry you are dealing with this, but I am here.”

Doing my best to remember that. That being helpful is sometimes just the ear you give, and nothing more.

Nothing but your company

I saw a quote the other day that I loved:

How beautiful is it to find someone who asks nothing but your company

A simple reminder that the people that matter the most in your life, the ones that fill your cup up, are the ones that genuinely enjoy spending time with you - for you. That's it.

Grateful to have a few of those that ask nothing more.

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Being first than being perfect.

As I’ve been working the last couple of years, a concept that I’ve been playing around with the idea of proactiveness. The idea that I could be the person to raise their hand to be first; whether it be starting a project, coordinating a meeting. Honestly, anything really.

The idea is that when you get to do the first draft, you have an open canvas. You can set the tone of how you want to shape the idea and project. In the past, I felt easier to be the editor, the one who reviews and adjusts. But I realize how valuable it is to be the author, the instigator, the creator.

The world appreciates the first step. And I’d like to take that in as many opportunities as I can.

Love in the room

I was listening to a podcast, Hello Monday, where Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love was talking about what she wants to remembered for.

She said an amazing quote: “I want to be remembered for being love in the room.”

What a totally powerful and incredible statement. To make sure everyone in that room is felt, heard, listened to and cherished.

Something that I think about a lot: how do I make everyone I talk to feel absolutely comfortable in their own skin. That those who I talk with they can feel a sense of belonging and care, no matter who they are and what they do.

I am working lately on taking more pauses and space to let conversation seep slowly, to let it open up and unfold and help love take its own sweet time. One room at a time.

A road to emotion

I started Seth Godin’s new book: This is Marketing. Already a few chapters in, I read something that resonated with me: marketing is a road to emotion.

By road to emotion, it means that marketing needs to connect to a higher order sentiment. A feeling, a reaction. It can connect the customer to a product that removes frustration, bring joy, fill with surprise & delight.

As a marketer, I am trying to up-level my briefs & strategy to reach this more readily. How can I tap into more primal human feelings of belonging, care, support, etc with my product?

I think it starts by really understanding the space my customer is in, deeply. Most have families, most have jobs and want to do better. How am I getting them closer to what they “feel” versus what they “need”?

Will be working this - building a better road for them.

When not to scale

As I think about my week, I spend time wondering how can I make things work faster, more efficient. How I can scale my time. On the most part, this does get me more out of my day.

But sometimes, I think of things that it’s better not to scale faster. Like spending time with your family, or a leisurely dinner with your friends.

We work on certain things faster so we can do certain things slower. Hoping to remember that.

Live in the arena

There’s a quote that I continue to reflect on:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

The idea that life begins when you actually show up. When it’s messy and confusing. When there is no plan, or established path. There have been many times where I was the bystander; it was easier to look on versus jumping in. Fear brims and bubbles inside.

Hoping to always have the courage to stand tall, in whatever arena of life I’m in.

Rush and point

I was reading the other week about a wonderful phrase: rush or point.

Inspired from Abby Wambach’s book, Wolfpack, it talks about the idea of what makes being a great leader in a team.

When someone on your team does something amazing, rush to celebrate them. Envelop them in appreciation, because behind every success, there’s a mountain of work unseen.

When you do something amazing, point to all the people that made it happen. Likely, many of them gave you the wind so you can fly higher and do more.

Here’s to doing that with gusto.

Just start

Whenever I find myself a little trapped by inaction, someone told me long ago to just start.

The process of just putting your feet on the ground and lifting off spurs action. A snowball continue to gain steam.

In work, this has really translated to “starting the first draft”. But just the process of opening a doc, writing a few words - you really get the momentum going.

So here’s to starting. And then continuing the momentum.

Memories and Time

When I want to reflect on my life, and the time that I spent, I want to remember my collection of memories.

Memories from great discussions, delectable food, amazing scenery, laughing where my voice cracks - everything in between.

Not the amount of hours I worked, or the money in my account.

The little thoughts that swirl in my head when I go to sleep and when I wake up.

SuperLessons.

This month, I was thinking of superheroes.

For years, I loved watching Marvel and DC heroes save the world with their sublime strength, skill and talent.

For me though, my favorite heroes were decidedly…human. None were bestowed with supernatural abilities; rather, all were normal guys who transformed themselves with work, grit and tenacity.

Here are different lessons I learned from my favorite heroes.

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Wildfire.

This month, I was thinking about how things catch on — like a wildfire blazing in the forest.

In a matter of days or weeks, something can spread so fast and so forcefully, it becomes a cultural phenomenon.

It’s stunning to see this process unfold, but what amazes me: sometimes the catalyst comes from sharp and savvy marketing.

Here are a few notable things that caught my eye over the years:

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Hygiene for your Head.

Hope all of you have started the year happy and healthy.

In the spirit of good health, I want to share a TED Talk that I really liked — the idea of emotional hygiene.

Guy Winch, a psychologist (and ironically, a twin too!), speaks about taking care of ourselves mentally — similar to ways we take care of ourselves physically.

Most of us having good physical habits: we exercise, we diet and we floss. And when we get sick, we seek out proper help to heal — medicine, therapy, etc.

So why not apply the same idea to our psychological health? What about practicing good hygiene for our brain?

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The Boring Side of Greatness.

This month, I was thinking how people become great.

From spectacular athletes to powerful thinkers, certain people have found a distinct formula for success.

So…what is it? What is the secret, powerful method that got them to the top? More and more, I read that greatness is found only after being…boring.

By boring, I mean the discipline to work. Every day — rain or shine. For a long, long time.

It’s neither glamorous nor easy nor fast. It’s a deep and enduring commitment to your craft. Small steps in a thousand mile journey.

Tom Clancy put it well: “An overnight success is ten years in the making.”

Here are a few examples of boring greatness that continue to inspire me:

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Presence in the Present

Recently, I caught myself drifting — lost in memories of the past and thoughts of the future.

The past is both comforting but haunting. You’ve gone through it, and you already know what’s happened. And like a highlight reel, you can spend hours looking over your own footage. I spent a lot of time thinking on how to edit and adjust my footage. I was caught in a reminiscence of everything behind me.

The future is exciting but fickle. You’ve never gone through it, and you have don’t know what’s going to happen. And like a movie trailer, you can spend hours planning out your new footage. I spent a lot of time trying to direct and prepare scenes yet to come. I was caught in a rapture of everything ahead of me.

But I soon realized, I was losing touch with today. Bit by bit, it was getting washed away by the past and the future.

Could I do anything to experience a richer, fuller present?

A few things have helped me keep presence in the present:

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