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REVIEW OF PAUL THEROUX'S NEW BOOK

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I highly recommend Paul Theroux’s new book on his Mexico travels entitled “On The Plain of Snakes.” Beyond his rich description of Mexico with all its problems and blessings, the book brings forth important thoughts for anyone in the autumn or winter of their careers.
Theroux now in his late seventies waxes and wains about the importance of putting your stamp on this phase in life. He talks about deciding on the Mexico road trip. How it might be his last adventure. His car was old and he (because of age) had to be tested every two years for eye sight to retain his license. Theroux did not know how long his car would last or he would be able to drive.
One passage especially calls out from the book.  Theroux writes, “In the casual opinion of most Americans, I am an old man, and therefor of little account, past my best, fading in a pathetic diminuendo while flashing his AARP card; like the old in America generally, either invisible or someone to ignore rather than respect, who will be be g…

GOOD INTENTIONS

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Sometimes in business it’s good to take a pause and reflect.  The push for conquest and results is so strong that we can forget what the real purpose of our efforts were in the the first place. This can be doubly true when numerous parts and people are involved. Ones that are beyond our control. They only add to the potential of getting lost in the process.
Call this time out meditation if you want, but some of those teachings can yield surprising results in business. Both in meditation and religion, you are urged to state your good intentions after you pray or reach a calm. This is a great time to revisit how your efforts are going to help the client, the company and everyone involved. If you can’t find those reasons, maybe all the efforts should be abandoned and a better project found.
Most endeavors have the potential for good. Revisiting that good refocuses you. It also can help you find the methods and words to unfreeze those elements out of your control. Passion naturally springs …

ANYONE CAN SING IN THE SHOWER

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If you're ready to take your songs out of the shower and onto the stage for success, here are a few thoughts. We all have experienced the STAR performers in life. Those that can belt out a song on stage, hit the home run, play a lead part or consistently bring home big accounts. You marvel at how they seem to get beyond themselves to perform at an elevated level. Unfazed by the normal inhibitions that affect us all.
In business these star performers are called by various nicknames: Elephant Hunters, Brag Book Holders, Rhino Chasers, The Land and Expand Force, Whale Boaters, Big Dog People, Game Changers, Alpha People or Bright Stars.
An athlete or stage performer has the luxury of practice time. Time when you can hone your skills or talent through repetition until it becomes second nature. That practice pushes you beyond your inhibitions. The rest of us operate in real time. In todays fast electric speed world, there is little time for practice. If you are going to be a bright star,…

BOOK OF PAINTINGS

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Painting has never been easy for me. So many different techniques, skills, colors and materials. This is not to mention the subject of what to paint in the first place or the style of you want to pursue.
Still with all these things said, I love it when I have brush in hand and paint on a canvas. It completely absorbs me. The rest of the world is shut off for a while as colors blend and images emerge. I have painted now for several years. No real masterpieces have emerged, but the efforts have brought many rewards of satisfaction. 



So many things in life don’t yield a finished product or results. So much in the world seems to hold such a high standard. You ask yourself why even try and do something? The work you do, the art you try and your accomplishments stand against all that. Results good and not so good, but always something you can hold in your hands and say I did it. Reason enough to clean your brushes and try again.
As with all endeavors, it’s good to pause once in a while and ta…

THE ART OF FORGIVING YOURSELF

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Often overlooked is one of the most important business tools for success, forgiving yourself. There are times when you make mistakes, bad decisions, underperform or hurt others. These failures are a normal part of life and striving to be successful. 
In business, the repercussions of failures are swift. Clients are lost, partnerships broken, careers hurt and prestige damaged. If you allow them, they can pile up like wrecked cars in your mind. They affect your performance moving forward and can haunt you far after you retire. 
It’s important to learn the art of forgiving yourself. Doing so, frees you to move forward and build new bridges for success. How to forgive yourself is a learned skill. There is much that has been written about this. Here are some of those suggestions together with my thoughts. 
Clear the Debris:  Peel away the circumstances, other people involved and emotions from the event. Realize that in the end analysis, the failure was yours. Ironically, it is far easier to f…

BUSINESS PARKS

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Business Parks are lonely places where work is forced out during the week. They are away from the city, a world unto themselves leaving little room for the mind to wander anyplace but the business of profit.

On weekends they take on an eerie quiet. An enigmatic blend of aloneness and peace. The empty company event tent, the left over tools of business and the wandering person reflecting on all of it.



QUIET SPACES (from the art of business series)

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For a time, I helped artists sell their work and had a studio in the Georgetown section of Seattle. There I learned much about both art and business. One of my favorite clients, a painter, seemed to effortlessly turn urban landscapes into bold abstract paintings. Ones that restaurants and hotels sought for decor. 
I marveled at how he could produce his works, asking myself if artists simply see things differently. Through discussions with him and research, I found that they do. A talent with important applications in both the art and business world. 
Artists either have a natural or learned ability in abstract thinking and composition. Where we see a city scape, they see objects and shapes. Ones they can move around using color theory, composition and other techniques to create art. Their final work always bringing the best elements together.
My painter went a step further. He added a quiet space in the painting for the eye to rest. It separated his art from the bold abstract work that o…