With Patrick Mosher
Tomorrow I visit my pulmonologist.
Her nurse will conduct the standard breathing tests. I’ll blow into tubes. Walk up and down the hall with an oximeter on my finger.
Doc will come in and put the cold stethoscope on my front and back to listen for wheezing.
As usual, she won’t hear anything abnormal.
She’ll look at my test results. Let me know where I stand and ask if I have any questions.
A standard checkup for me.
Oh yea, I have Cardiac Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). I’m an odd case as I’ve never smoked. I’m not overweight and I’m not old (relative to typical COPD patients).
My brother is diagnosed with COPD. My other brother and sister both sleep with CPAPs. None of them smoke. My Dad died of emphysema and so did his brother. And my brother’s son died of COPD at 32. Married with 2 young...
As the waiter finished jotting down our order, he smiled and turned on his heal, punctuating our exchange with,
I’ve heard ‘No Problem’ thousands of times. It’s a common phrase used in our culture. And this time his response hit me kind of funny.
I turned the phrase over in my head, ‘No Problem.’
Did my order present a potential Problem? Did he need to assure me that our order was NOT a Problem for him? When did ordering from the menu at a restaurant become a Problem?
In a simple everyday exchange, ‘Problem’ was introduced out of nowhere!
Here’s the problem of ‘No Problem’…
The words NO and PROBLEM are both negatives.
And two negatives do not equal a positive.
I’m going to geek on you here just a bit with scientific proof.
My boss and I were sitting in the client cafeteria. Lunch long over, we chose a private table near the big windows. We had just finished a great workshop with a potential client. Spirits were high.
In consulting, we rarely got 1:1 face-to-face time with our bosses. Especially at the partner level. So this was a great opportunity to have a career conversation.
I considered how to ask it. At some point, you’ve probably labored over this same question.
“What do I need to do to get promoted to the next level?”
As he leaned back, I imagined all sorts of responses:
But his answer took me aback.
“I don’t think you have what it takes. You need Sharp Elbows”
What does that mean?
I saw an intriguing advertisement for today with the phrase, “Commitments aren’t made with words. They’re made with Actions.”
That phrase got me thinking about how commitments work. At first, you make a commitment in your head.
What commitments have you made to yourself?
The ad differentiated between commitments made by Words vs Action. In a former life, I was an engineer, so I started thinking how physics might shed light on the concept of Commitment.
Let’s begin with our science metaphor. (don’t be scared, I’ll keep it easy)
Commitments build the Potential Energy needed to overcome Inertia. Inertia is an object’s tendency to stay put.
A friend introduced me to a video about the Meaning of Money. Wealth Advisors talk about hitting your ‘number’ which is the wealth you need to accumulate to retire.
Do you know your number?
In the video, the speaker defines money as a contract for the future. Money is a device for moving value across space and time.
He talks about five fundamental components of money. Money must have:
What stuck out for me was that money needed to have Scarcity. The rarest resources hold the most value. Diamonds and gold. Money is a way to accumulate a scarce resource so you can trade it in the future for what you want.
Okay, so that’s money and why you need to accumulate a pile of it as a scarce resource.
A great Pile O’ Money allows you to buy what you want....
Recently, I visited two friends in Colorado. Brother and sister, living across the street from each other, they are close. I’ve known them both over 20 years. It’s always a pleasure to visit them and enjoy the clean fresh Colorado air and those beautiful mountains! Such a treat!
On this particular visit, I have the pleasure of spending the evening with their community. About 13 of us in all. We share a meal in the backyard. Potluck .. so a smorgasbord of unique recipes. Delectable and (for me) exotic tastes.
As dinner around the picnic tables winds down, I head for the small fire to warm my hands. I sit alone in silence, staring into the fire. You know how that goes, right? It’s a meditation, watching the fire dance. Eventually, another person meanders over and sits down across from me. And then another. ...
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate HARMONY in the world right now? 1 = low. 10 = high.
I've asked my friends, family and my Wisdom 4 Humanity community this question and most rate World Harmony pretty low right now.
There's so much going on! No need to drag you down by listing them.
My next question typically is, "So what are you doing to raise World Harmony?"
I asked a colleague. Very conscious human being. Socially responsible. Acutely aware of what's happening in the world.
His heart is breaking.
"Where do I begin? I’m overwhelmed. Whatever I do won’t make a difference. And I’m so busy with EVERYTHING I can’t do ANYTHING. My To Do List is full. One more thing will break me. Just BREAK me."
I could feel a combination of tears mixed with anger bubbling up.
"Any action I take is small. Too small to...
What words would you use to describe, STRESS?
Awful. Bad. Get Rid of It. Don't Want It.
Let me offer a different perspective.
Stressors CARVE you out of our comfort zone.
They SPRING you to act.
They make you REACH for something better.
They DRIVE you to success.
Stressors MOTIVATE you to improve yourself, your conditions and our world!
Does it feel like our world sees stress as a productive force?
Let's re-frame it.
I'm going to geek out here a bit and dive into a physics perspective on stress.
STRESS – a Restoring Force Inside an Object Resulting from an Externally Applied Force
This definition reveals two gems:
#1. Stress is a force INSIDE an object
We talk about being stressed by situations or people. According to science, this is not a true statement. Stress is your REACTION to an outside force applied on you. You have external forces applied on you all the...
It has both positive and negative connotations, doesn't it?
POWER is defined as the capacity or ability to direct influence on the behavior of others.
Power, then, is capacity or potential.
I prefer physics' definition of POWER: Work exerted over time. In the scientific world, Power isn't potential, it's Active. In the world.
Physics would define capacity to exert Power more accurately as Potential Energy.
Potential Energy is:
You see the ball, water, spring and balloon don't have potential energy until you do something to them. You stress their comfortable environment. Potential Energy builds when it wants to return to a more stable state, but it can't.
Isn't the same true for us?
We define Stressors as those things...
Last century I was a young Chemical Engineering Co-op student. I got to do my first professional gig as a Chemical Engineering after just one year of Freshman Engineering curriculum under my belt. Freshman Calculus, Chemistry, English. Hardly qualified to do any real engineering work.
Nonetheless, I travelled from my hometown of Cincinnati to Corning, New York. Headquarters for Corning Glass Works.
I was reminded over and over that I was Corning's first Co-op student. A Talent Experiment for this small Chemical Engineering department which serviced all of Corning's locations and diverse products: light bulbs, micro-sized medical products, lab benchtops, Corelle, Pyrex, resistors and capacitors for computers, Steuben fine crystal, optical wave fiber, on and on.
I quickly got enthralled with the unique qualities of glass. Did you know that glass is an...