The Power of a Video Resume

In the market we find ourselves in, I think it wise to stand out from the herd. One excellent way is through the medium of video. In this post I'm specifically thinking of the video resume.

Video resumes are not new. That said, I think video can be intimidating for many. This article from Eugen Lim is a great start as you consider this approach. I like Eugene's insights because she has experience on her side. Not in years, but in, she's learning and about to embark on what many are in the midst of.

Enjoy the video and I hope it helps you get to that desired place-may it be Epic.

After the Dream

What do you do after the dream? Do you revel in the possibility of what, at this point, exists in your head alone?

The best dreams, dare I write, the type that come to pass are mixed with vision and deliberate will. 

I've read it many times the quote of success being able to move from failure to failure and not lose enthusiasm for what could be. I tend to agree with that, even as I live in an environment that prizes winning to the point of obsession.

This lyric is appropriate:

    And the dreams that you dare to dream

    Really do come true.

The emphasis is on the dare my friends.

The Man in the Chair

I was at a doctor's appointment a few weeks back. It was a normal appointment. I checked-in, sat in a chair in a non-descript waiting area and counted the minutes until my name was called. The process is not unlike what maybe you've experienced.

My visit coinsided with the 2012 Olympics. This is an important part of this story.

As I sat and waited for my eyes to dilate, I witness something that entranced me. A man sitting in a wheelchair.

I know that on the face of it, seeing a man in a wheelchair is not strange. I would agree with that. But this man was bright, alert and Engaged with the sport being played out on the screen in front of us in the waiting room. Stay with me.

The man in the chair was someone I noticed when I arrived at my appointment. He was hunched over and almost catatonic. He seemed to be a man alive, yet without life. At first glance I felt a level of sadness at the reality of struggling in the last act of living. Fast forward, I see him watching an Olympic competition and fully engaged. It was if someone woke him from the dead.

It was clear to me that this man in the chair found something worth coming alive for. I offer no definitive explanations. He saw something, maybe something lost.

The sad reality is I see people half the age of that man who look the same, but without a wheelchair. Alive, yet dead. Call me extreme and I will tell you to look around (really look around) and see the following:

  • An overly medicated population
  • A sedentary population
  • A surrendered population
  • An unhappy population
  • A population unable to resist 

I'm not pesimistic and I don't belive things can't be turned around. I'm trying to shake you with what I've seen. Maybe the man in the chair would say we need somthing to cheer for, be for, fight for.

Why We Need Critical Thinking

We need critical thinking more than ever. I, like you, have had my moments of not using critical thinking.  Tough to admit and some of my most valuable lessons are found in that truth. Critical thinking is not only a skill that is vitally important, it is often ignored in our daily lives.

I sometimes think we avoid critical thinking because we don't want to be distrurbed. We don't want to be the odd one out or we had our heart set on something and the thought of not possessing makes us shrink. Ever been there?

Here's a few things to consider as you think about applying critical thinking:

  • Please decide what you believe. Don't mean to be too strong here and this is important. It's easy to abdicate this to the crowd. In other words, I'll let him or her define my beliefs for me. It never works.
  • Once you've established what you believe, then be willing to ask the tough questions. For example, is the person I'm placing my faith in live a life consistent with what I believe?
  • Don't fall for the trap of "being liked." If you're craving this you really need to get this straight. Trust me, being liked is highly overrated.
  • Find something bigger than yourself to serve. This forms deep roots and will keep you grounded.
  • Recognize critical thinking as a tool you'll need when the players come around. If you don't have the skill to discern, they'll get you every time.
  • Wait. That's right. When you feel rushed just wait. Rarely, are we in situations where a quick decision needs to be made.
  • Make critical thinking a part of your entire life.

Fear and Greed

This post was originally written in 2006, it was timely then and timely now. Is your organization paying attention?

I read today that Jeff Skilling of Enron fame wasn't in "it" for the money.  He just wanted to build a solid business.  I'm not here to judge him, but his comments are telling…as it relates to fear and greed.

Oh, how great it would be if every junior executive/manager got the workshop on fear and greed.  It wouldn't guarantee total bliss, but it might reduce the wrecks.  Sadly, corporations fail to talk about this due to their own addictions.  You see fear and greed can be habit forming.  They seem OK when you first taste, but leave behind ruined lives afterward.

If you're new to management or ownership, take some time to deal with the issues of fear and greed.  No matter how well you think things are going.  Your employees/subordinates will thank you for it.

Life in Motion

Life is in motion and in a constant state of flow-forward.

I told someone last week that time flys. They agreed in aknowledgement and understanding. It dawned on me right after the exchange that time has not increased or decreased its pace. Kind of sets one in a place of grappling with daily choices.

I am in awe of each day now. The realization that a significant part of my life has been lived. And before you think I live in a mystical world, where all is spinning in perfect balance, you should know that each day is a fight for what I believe. I make decisions that carry risk-some small and some great. I face fear and watch courage appear. I know I don't have as much time as I once did. I am driven.

There is a war going on.

Ever notice that not many will stop you and inquire about whether your living out your destiny? At some point life became way too complicated and many surrendered to the insanity. Almost like slaves that have resigned themselves to a life without freedom. Freedom to live, love and dream.

I realize my voice is somewhat faint in an overcrowded world full of gadgets, entertainment and medication. But I also realize I can't be silent. Kind of like the air in a deep breath. I'm in and out.

Five Questions with Amy Shea, Author of Defending Happiness

Defending happiness
Had the pleasure of conducting this interview with Amy Shea, author of Defending Happiness. Love her insights and the experiences that forged them.

Why do we need to defend happiness?

We need to defend our happiness from the idea that it's dispensable. We not only put it last, but we eliminate it from our daily life. We save it up for vacation. And we blame and complain that we have all these responsibilities, these things that have to be done first. Yet, if we examine those things we are putting in its place, so often they are tied to an ideal of what life is supposed to look like, what we are supposed to be doing. Remember in Star Trek, when an episode would open up with the team in the transporter room, ready to beam down to the supposedly-docile planet? Whenever you saw a new guy you didn't recognize on the team you knew two things: a) there was going to be trouble, and b) he was going to be the first to go. That new guy is happiness. It's the first to go when there's trouble. Yet when we have trouble, that's when we need it most.

Is happiness a choice?

Yes. And it's sometimes a hard choice. No one is happy when hard and difficult things happen. And the last thing I am suggesting is positive thinking–I don't believe in that. It's denial of what is.  I believe in seeing what is, and seeing the value in what is. When I got breast cancer, my world, as I knew it, stopped. And that experience was not one sided. Was it a gun to my chest? You bet. But it also stamped an expiration date on my consciousness, and I was more present, laughed harder, and stopped making unimportant things so important. And THAT'S the choice: not what happens, but how to show up in what happens, how to live with a full consciousness instead of one that is but a limited perception of what happiness is supposed to look like. Breast cancer taught me that, though as a strategy I would not recommend it. 

You’re very transparent in your book, Defending Happiness. Was it difficult to be so open?

Not at all. I'm not ashamed of being human, and I think being human is hilarious. And I love to laugh, especially with others. I think pretending we are perfect is toxic–to us, our relationships, and our world. It is the most isolating thing we do as humans.  

What advice would you give to the person waiting for happiness to pay them a visit?

Hit the road. Go find it. Happiness is not a furry puppy that's going to climb up into your lap. Going after what makes you happy is going to mean disturbance. At the very least, it's going to disturb the habitual life. It may disturb those who are accustomed to you doing what they want, what makes them happy. It may mean you make less money, have fewer things. But whatever disturbance you encounter, you will be here, you will have shown up in your own life.  

Do you think there is a connection between contentment and happiness? 

Yes, if you can find contentment in being yourself and contributing from that place. To me, happiness is the peace found in being completely present in one's life, even as one faces all that life is–that amazing feeling of being awake. It is to have lived. I wouldn't trade it for anything of this world. 


Thankfulness in the Midst

This post was written in November of 2008. I'm dedicating it today to a dear friend who has refreshed my belief in thankfulness.


When you think of thankfulness, is it bitter, sweet or both?  In America we're soon to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.  This one is quite different than many before.  So many issues pressing against us.

I have many friends who are now downright pessimistic about the future.  They see so much bad on the horizon that it causes them to lose hope. 

One conclusion I've come to is that I don't have the power overcome their fear.  All I can do is live out an example.  To that end, here's what I'm doing:

  • Giving thanks in the midst of hard times.  It's easy to be thankful when all is going your way.  The test of our integrity comes when we have to fight through our own losses.
  • On-purpose indifference to the media.  Don't get me wrong, I'm staying informed.  I'm just not confusing substantive information for selling.  This is big.
  • Continue my habit of speaking about a better future.  Not a future provided, but a future created.
  • Embracing the little things that are large.  For example, one glance to create a connection with another human being, so they know how important they are.
  • Remember, remember, remember that fear only needs my attention in-order to succeed.

I'm confident that by doing the above I will live a life of thankfulness.  That's the best legacy I can leave for my friends.