The Wisdom
Exchange

With Patrick Mosher

The Problem of ‘No Problem’

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As the waiter finished jotting down our order, he smiled and turned on his heal, punctuating our exchange with,

‘No Problem.’

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.

  •  Put two negative ends of two magnets together.  ...
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Sharp Elbows

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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:

  •  Double your sales
  •  Build more offers
  •  Expand your team
  •  Speak at more conferences
  •  Develop relationships with more senior clients

But his answer took me aback.

“I don’t think you have what it takes.  You need Sharp Elbows”

----

What does that mean?

You...

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Commitment Means Taking the Steps

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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.  

  •  To go to the gym more often
  •  To grade papers this week  
  •  To clean the garage this weekend
  •  To volunteer more next year

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.  

  •  Ever feel inertia to do...
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Rarest Resource on the Planet

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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:

  •  Divisibility
  •  Durability
  •  Recognizability
  •  Portability
  •  Scarcity

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....

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Personal Freedom and the Pursuit of Happiness

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"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

- Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

244 years after the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress, here in the United States, we set aside an entire day to celebrate Freedom.

Freedom is the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

"Free at last!  Free at last.  Thank God almighty, we are free at last."  – Martin Luther King, I have a Dream Speech, 1963

What does it mean to be Free?  

Personal Freedom

I challenge my clients with this question: 

What are your minimum requirements for Personal Freedom?

With a puzzled look on their face, they usually ask:  

What do you mean by Personal Freedom?

...

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35 Dollar Wisdom Story of Servant Leadership

"I need to go grocery shopping today, Charles.  How much money do you have?"   Charles pulls his wallet out of his back pocket.  Looks in, "$35." 

Seems like a normal conversation, but it changed my life!  You see, I was visiting Charles and his family on Pine Ridge Reservation.  A few of us gathered around him at his front door, listening to him tell stories and share wisdoms from the Lakota ways of being. 

After Charles' wife went back into the house, it dawned on me.  $35.  That's ALL they have!  There's no bank account.  No money stuffed under the mattress.  9 kids and grandma and all they have is $35!!  That realization sunk into my brain.  I was taken aback by the level of faith he has that 'the universe will provide.' 

In the Presence of Wisdom

When you go into another culture, watch for these 'surprise' moments.  You have a choice.  You can judge these moments by your own culture's...

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