The Gifts We Have Missed

Well, it’s over.  The gifts have been opened, the food has been ravaged and piles of paper and boxes are still strewn across the living room.  Another Christmas has come and gone.  Or so it might seem.

You see, this is when every so often a wonderful thing happens: we discover a gift we had missed.  Perhaps it fell behind the tree or was hidden beneath a pile of torn paper, but there it is.  And what a joy it is to learn we have received more gifts than we first thought. Continue reading

Do You Want to Get Rich or Just Watch?

I once had lunch with a young man who said he’d spent over $100,000 with a “success guru” and it was the best investment he’d ever made. I nearly choked when he said this, but given his extraordinary success, I wasn’t about to question his judgment. Not knowing quite how to respond, I said, “I guess you wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him to others.” To my surprise, he instantly and emphatically said he would not. Continue reading

Silence Doesn’t Mean Squat

Excuse me while I take a deep breath.

Thank you. I needed that because this one really gets under my skin.

Here’s a little quiz for you. What is the difference between the following two dialogues?

  1. You ask, “Will you let me know when the job is done?” He says, “Count on it.”
  2. You ask, “Will you let me know when the job is done?” He says, “Tell you what. If I don’t call you by noon, that means it’s done.”

Notice any difference? If not, you’re asking for trouble. Here’s why: Continue reading

A Trashy Little Mystery

I don’t have a great memory but I do pride myself on remembering to put out our garbage on collection day.

In the three years we’ve lived in our current home I’ve virtually never missed a day.

Then, some weeks back, for no apparent reason, I forgot. Later that week, I forgot again. The next week, same thing.

In all I missed four collection days in a row and – to make matters worse – I couldn’t begin to explain why.

Then, as suddenly as this cycle began, it ended and I’ve been perfect again for the last two weeks.

What caused this glitch in my near-perfect garbage-day memory? Continue reading

Why We Rarely Finish What We Start

Ever notice how many of us start things but don’t follow through on them?

We join the gym but never go.

We buy a book but don’t read it.

We outline a book but never write it.

We sign up for a class but don’t attend it.

We start to renovate our home but don’t finish it.

You get the idea.

Why do we do this? Here’s my guess… Continue reading

Prediction vs. Explanation

This may be too deep for a quick blog entry, but this is such an important concept I really want to share it with you while it’s fresh in my mind…

I have been doing a lot of thinking about how the timing of our words impacts their effectiveness. The same words spoken at different times can have dramatically different effects – even if they are used to refer to the exact same incidents. Here’s an example:

Continue reading