You will be tested…


My friend Spencer used to say “In life we all get tested.  Pass the test.”

I was recently “tested” and while I didn’t get 100% I’m happy to say that I passed.

So lets call the class “your life” and the core curriculum “your values”.  

You value truth and yet sometimes it’s hard to tell tell the truth.

You value having a healthy body and at the same time fried dough is soooo good.  

What values are most important to you?

Take a minute and make a list.  

Which are the easiest to live in line with?

Which are the most challenging?

Which of your values currently requires a little extra “study”?

There, as Spencer said, will be tests.

There will also be quizzes.  

The tests are obvious.  

A loved one gets seriously ill

You lose your job

Your marriage falls apart.

The quizzes are less obvious.  

Unless you’re looking for them.  

Will you consider your list of values and throughout the day be aware of “quiz” moments when they are challenged.  


Pass the quizzes

Pass the test

We lost Spencer last year and yet his wise counsel still serves me well.  

I miss him…

I am an “imperfectionist”


I am an imperfectionist.

The main difference between perfectionism and imperfectionism is that imperfectionism exists.

You are not perfect and you never will be.

Sit with that for a moment.

Think about the context in which perfection usually comes up.

We rarely hear people say, “It came out so great because I’m such a perfectionist.”

Perfection does not fuel beautiful work but often comes up as an excuse for beautiful work to never even get started.

“My problem is that I am such a perfectionist”

Really means:

“I am terrified to put myself out there for fear of being vulnerable”

Brene Brown puts it like this

“Perfectionism is self-destructive simply because perfection doesn’t exist. It’s an unattainable goal. Perfectionism is more about perception than internal motivation, and there is no way to control perception no matter how much time we spend trying,”.

Are you a self-described perfectionist?

What are you compelled to “put out there” but you don’t because you are afraid of being embarrassed?

We need it

We need you to be brave

We need your best

Not your perfection

It doesn’t exist

Just your best

Your picture

Your song

Your poem

Your research

Your heart

Your best

Can we have something by the end of the day?

It’s early….


Blacks, Jews, Hispanics and Juanita

Ed turned 95 on Saturday.
He walks like a 70 year old and smiles like a teenager.
My gift to Ed was a question.
His gift to me was an answer.
“Hey Ed, what’s your earliest memory?” I asked.
I gave him time to think…
(With 95 years worth of memories, you need to allow a minute or two for sorting and recall)
He recalled being about five years old and having a girlfriend who lived next door.
“Brooklyn, 1922, in our neighborhood there were blacks, Jews, Hispanics… all of us together” he shared.
“My girlfriend was named Juanita, she was Hispanic but I’m not sure what kind,” he paused.
“I was a Jew… Still am… Proud of it.”
Juanita had an older brother who loved bacon.
Ed’s earliest memory was Juanita’s big brother taking him for walks down to the butcher shop.
In those days the butcher would hand out a free sample of his special bacon.
“As I mentioned, I’m a Jew and in those days my family didn’t eat the bacon,” he explained.
“The butcher would give me a sample and I’d give it to Juanita’s big brother.”
“He was happy to have the bacon and I didn’t care.  I just liked going for a walk.”
I inquired about segregation and the culture of his neighborhood.
He waxed about being poor, being in Brooklyn, and being alive.
Here is what came up for me during our chat:
Separation is a choice and it rarely serves us well.
Culturally or individually we are (generally) better together.
From the Irish potato famine came this powerful quote:
“It is in the shelter of each other that the people will live.”
Here’s a question for you…
In what ways are you a shelter for the people, and in what ways are you a fortress to keep yourself and your   opinions clean?

Who do you avoid and why?

How does that change if it is 1922 and your neighbors are Ed and Juanita?

Yes you can have my bacon.
I am happy just to walk with you…
Happy birthday, Ed.