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The Beautiful #bikitwedding

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of being a part of our friends very special day. It was a beautiful ceremony and reception filled with love, laughter, and family. It was a day that reminded me what it means to be truly and deeply in love with another person, and brought back many of the same feelings that I experience at my own wedding. I could not wish for two people to have happier lives together. Congrats Amber and Gary, love you both!

 

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The Power of Positive People

“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.”

- Epictetus

Guided by reason and logic and reason, we have the power to change our situation. We have the power to choose surround ourselves with those that bring out the best in us, that drive us to see the best in ourselves.

Want to be successful? Surround yourself with successful and genuine people.

Want to be happy? Surround yourself with people who add to your happiness.

Epictetus was born a slave, but through the ideological belief in self-discipline and reason, he became one of the most influential Greek philosophers in history.

Epictetus surmised that the true power of human intelligence lies not in our ability to manipulate the physical world, but to use rational logic to deeply understand ourselves, our motivations, and our faults. Peace of mind, it was argued,  could not be found in possession, emotion, or irrational thought, but in the careful study of choice and reason.

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Keep Moving Forward

Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.
~ Victor Kiam

Things are not always great, not always smooth. It’s the hard parts that test your mettle and let you see what you’re really made of. You can either let the negative conquer your spirit and take root in your soul, or you can choose to fight it with clear and undeniable positivity. Concentrate on the good, it’s what makes us human. Let them shine until they’re able to sweep away the darkness, sweep away the doubt.

Keep moving forward.

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The Space Between

There exists, a space between. 

A space between silence and sound. 

A space between light and dark. 

             space

                       between.

There exists the bad, to make space for the good. For the better. For the best. 

There exists the sadness to make space for the laughter. 

 

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Busy Doesn’t Mean Productive: 5 Tips to Help You Get More Done With Less Stress

 

As Americans, we’re some of the busiest people on the planet. Being busy is often regarded as a sign of importance. The busier you are, the more people must need your talents right? But how many times have you gotten to the end of a busy day, and looked back to realize that you didn’t accomplish anything of value?

        1. Heavy Multi-Taskers Get Less Done

We all know them. You could probably rattel off three people in your office who are heavy multi-taskers. Phone in one hand, laptop in front of them, all while sitting in a meeting and only half listening. If we were to stop and really think about this situation, doesn’t it seem a bit ridiculous that we could expect to be able to fully engage in a conversation while also having multiple distractions disrupting our attention? It’s important to be present in the moment as this is when you’re likely to be at your peak performance. Focus on one task at a time so that you can think simply and critically about the issue at hand. Paying attention also shows that you respect what the organizer has to say, and respect is a critical component to any solid business relationship.

2. Schedule Yourself

        Ping, buzz, beep-beep: These are the sounds of notifications. Email, text messages, Facebook, Twitter, meeting planners. It can all be incredibly overwhelming and limit your productivity if you let it. The solution? Schedule your time wisely. It’s easy to pick up your phone every time if beckons you with a vibrating notification or to try and respond to every email as it comes in. But does this help you do your job any more efficiently? Or is it just another form of procrastination. Instead of falling into the notification black hole, schedule blocks of time throughout your day in which you’ll answer emails, respond to messages, or check Facebook. This will help you stay on task and focus on high priority projects and keep you from getting distracted by ticky-tacky communications that really can wait.

3. Be Realistic With Your Time

There are only so many hours in a day and only so much time on this planet, so unless you want to spend all of it working, you’re going to need to commit to the things that really can get done. There is not a worse feeling (in my opinion at least) than committing to too much and not being able to execute at the highest level on all of it. Be realistic about your current time commitments. If you have too much on your plate already, then table that really cool project until you can free up some space. Or better yet, find a way to reassess your priorities so that you can work on that really cool project.

4. Create Agendas and Stick to Them

This happens all too often. The meeting starts out about monthly reports, then all of a sudden starts the downward slide into weekend plans, then veers a hard right into another project entirely. Before you know it your team has spent an hour discussing four topics, none of which are priorities, and none of which were on the original agenda (if there was an agenda to begin with). Creating and sticking to an agenda helps to set expectations for a group during a meeting. It keeps the train on the rails and gives you a basis for bringing the conversation back into line when it starts to wander. This will help you make the most of your teams time which can go a long way towards creating a feeling of value amongst team members.

5. Don’t Be a Weekend Emailer

Work life balance. It’s a term that we all know, but that few seem to strictly abide by. If there’s an emergency, then yes, by all means, respond. But if it can wait (and most of the time it can), then don’t respond. A good strategy is to craft your response while it’s fresh in your mind, but to leave it as a draft until Monday. Doing this will show your team members how important balance is to you, and also shows that you respect their personal lives as well. Setting these boundaries can help to prevent employee burnout and can give people a much needed mental reprieve.

 

What are some of your favorite ways to increase your personal or team productivity? Share in the comments below!

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What I Fear the Most

#PrayforBoston

#PrayforBoston

    The events in Boston are on constant rotation on the news, on the web, and in our minds. It’s gut wrenching to watch a city that I love, a city of incredible people, rich history, and cultural importance put through such a tragic event. I know that the people of Boston will recover, the media will lose interest and descend back into their bickering and name calling and the world will go back to some sense of normalcy.

    With each of these tragedies, we lose a piece of ourselves. Whether you’re from Boston, Newtown, Aurora, or your just a farmer in the mid-west,  you don’t feel as safe today as you did yesterday.

    I’m not worried about the effect that that has on me. If it’s my time, it’s my time, and I’m ok with that. What I am worried about, and the thing that I truly fear, is the world that my children will have to grow up in. A culture of fear and mistrust has taken root in America. As much as I hope that this won’t effect how we live, I know that it will. We will become more cautious, expand security measures, and we will lose trust in our fellow humans. Our children are the ones who will ultimately endure the long term effects of these tragedies. 

    However, the people of Boston, as those in New York City, and Newtown have, give me hope. People opened their homes and their hearts to those around them. Whether it was giving orange juice, giving blood, or just providing a place for those who didn’t want to be alone, the human spirit showed its true colors. People and cities were united in their support of one another. That’s the future that I hope for, not one of fear, but one of compassion, love, and brotherhood.