Posts Tagged With: Life

What are you really good at?

Think about that for a moment – what are you REALLY good at?

Honestly, when I critique myself I normally feel I’m not really good at anything. I’m kind of good at a lot of things…but I really can’t think of one thing that I truly excel at.  My friends and family may disagree, but that’s what they are for (I love you too Mom!)

When I focus this level of critique outward vs inward, I recognize talent, but frankly, don’t feel I appreciate it enough. Misery may love company, but when I then think of peoples’ reaction to astonishing talent…all too often I think we let our own ego, competitive spirit, and general fear of overwhelming enthusiasm get in our way of sheer appreciation for one anothers’ talent. Why is it so bad to be in awe of what makes one another special and unique?

Hang with me here – this concept of the difference between good and great really hit home the other day, and reminded me of how important it is to recognize one anothers’ talents and really appreciate who we are as individuals bringing a unique perspective to every interaction.


Last week I was fortunate enough to have ridden with a pro driver in an SLS AMG (those of you who aren’t car-dorks, it’s a fast car) around Laguna Seca….in the rain. My jaw was literally on the floor. “Now THIS is talent” – this guy has a gift that 99.9% of the world simply doesn’t have…he controlled the car as if it was an extension of himself. What propelled us through the straights and out of turns wasn’t 600 ft/lbs of torque – it was his supreme confidence and talent.

After getting out of the car, I realized just how amazing and unique that experience was. Yes it was a blast, but more importantly, on a relationship level, this guy just shared the very essence of who he is. His talent is so overwhelming, it actually defines who he is. Very few words were exchanged (mostly “YES!” and “WHAT THE ___”) but I learned more about that guy through those 2 laps than any conversation could have produced. What did I learn?

A) Kudos to people who have the ability to look inward, identify their talent, and pursue a career in that field. The occupational dream we all really do chase is talent + happiness + career = nirvana. Many folks buck the trend of school/safe job/401k, and 10 times out of 10, they are successful because of it.

B) Lighten up a little, will ya? EVERYONE is really good at something, and more importantly, we should actively appreciate each other for it. Have you ever seen a guy throw a baseball 100mph? It looks unnatural, literally not possible. Breaking the situation down, and not just appreciating the outcome, but appreciating the person for producing the outcome is such a cool feeling. Watching that baseball hit the mit will produce a smile. Watching the pitchers’ face as he realizes what he just accomplished produces a tear.

So think about that question again…and this time be honest with yourself. I will too. What are you really good at? Next time you show it, know that someone is looking, and that someone is in awe of what makes you really special.

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Why not???

You know when you come across a great quote in a book that makes you stop reading and say “wow, that was concise and hits the nail on the head!” I wanted to share one of my all-time favorites from a book that many of us consumer-experience-geeks have at arms’ length at any given time. The reason this resonates with me so much is because it addresses the very essence of human relationships, and speaks to a very positive approach you can easily refer to in every meaningful interaction, every day. From our friend Fred Reichheld at Bain:

“It always seemed to me that success in business and in life should result from your impact on the people you touch – whether you have enriched their lives or diminished them”

For whatever reason, my brain processes information chunks at a time, much in the same way I eat (slowly, enjoying bite by bite), so quotes like this that deliver a range of applicability in 10 seconds or less really put me in my place.

Yes you have to make a conscious effort. So why try to contribute positively in every interaction? Why make an effort to add to each others’ success and enjoyment as often as possible? Why break down the barriers and get to the root of what matters?

When you think about it, whether individually, or as a business…WHY NOT? Why operate any other way? The most innovative companies in the world have adopted a methodology to implement and manage this within their day to day interactions, to maintain the fundamentals of a consumer-centric culture. We as individuals can do it for free.

Speaking of which, looking at the expression on my wife’s face as I type this over a longgggg slowwww breakfast (naturally),  it looks like I’ve got some enriching to do myself. Sorry babe, off we go!!!

Categories: Customer Experience, Life | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Slow down!

So as I reach my 30’s, I am realizing a few things happen…first and foremost you get more comfortable with yourself, who you are, and what you can do to constantly improve. Second, you begin to realize that everyone telling you “life is short” for the last 30 years…well they are right. It’s moving quickly!!

One thing I don’t do very well is slow down. I have come to realize the importance of simply stopping what I’m doing to take a deep breath while appreciating my surroundings. My wife does this very well, but I tend to err on the side of 1000mph more often than not. Keeping consistent with the car analogy, it’s amazing how stopping along the way to your destination a few times during the trip can actually get you there faster…or in some cases ensure you get there period. Uh huh, see what I did there? Fisher Price My First Metaphor!

So from time to time I’ll take a photo that really captures the natural beauty of my surroundings at the right time and right place. I have the photographic skills of a 16 year-old blind one-armed orangutan, but lucky for me as they say even a broken clock is right twice a day. Here is the sunrise over Hana Bay, during a moment of pure, unfiltered beauty that I’ll never forget experiencing.

This particular picture, and sunrises in general, are meaningful to me, but what about you? What are some methods you utilize to slow down and enjoy the moment?

Categories: Life, Travel | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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