September 2014

AND.

Simple little word, isn’t it?

We don’t like it in sentence construction. It signals run-on-sentence hell.

We like it everywhere else.

In the canon of powerful words, AND ranks right up there with YES, NO. As a form of thought construction, AND heralds the opportunity-creating, mind-expanding, value-adding thought.

Do you use the word AND often enough?

It is my job to talk myself into things, not out of them.

I remember this phrase as I chat with my friend Rob Doucet about life’s third acts. We banter about the notion of retirement. Whether retirement is an at all desirable thing.  (more…)

Where do you get your lunch?

Mo, the proprietor of the sublime Sozo Sushi in Ft. Lauderdale, asks me as I pay for dinner.

We run down the street to Doris’ Market, I answer. They have a $5.00 lunch special. Sandwich, chips, and a soda.

Doris’ is your classic old Italian market, less than a mile from my firm’s office, right on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, Florida.

Yes, there really is a Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.

Lunch rush at Doris’ Market means you pull a number and wait your turn. Behind the counter, Gilda and Frank and Doreen and Freddie and a whole slew of others hustle to sell deli meats and make the lunch orders while a crowd eagerly waits. (more…)

Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer is on the road, promoting her new Fox television series Red Band Society.

As I catch an interview with Ms. Spencer on New York Fox News, I am captivated by a brief bit of chit-chat.

It’s about Octavia Spencer. It’s about presence. It’s about how we show up.

You didn’t start off as an actress, the interviewer prods.

No, I was a PA [production assistant] on movie sets, Ms. Spencer explains. On every set I worked on, the director at some point would say to me “You’re so animated” and ask me to read for a part. I always declined.

And then you worked on ‘A Time to Kill,’ the interviewer prods again. (more…)

I am happy for you.

Powerful words, right?

And my two favorite variations:

I am so pleased for you (a bit more cautious).

I am thrilled for you (yes, over the top).

When something good happens to a colleague or a friend, we tend so say Congratulations. We may even send a congratulatory note.

Nice.

But I am happy for you elevates the well-wishing. It puts ME into the congratulatory expression. And it gives the other person the gift of MY supportive emotion. (more…)

Raw and fearless.

In the onslaught of tributes to comedienne Joan Rivers, these are the adjectives I hear most often.

Raw and fearless.

To people who didn’t like her, Joan Rivers was crass, loud, unabashedly insensitive.

Too much.

I liked Joan Rivers. A lot.

One thing was abundantly clear as I watched the 2010 documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work: Rivers was first and foremost an entertainer. She lived to be on-stage. She abhorred not being on-stage. (more…)

I stand on the sidewalk in front of my house, chat with Sylvie, my gardener from Quebec. Sylvie tells me of the life challenges her teenage grand-daughter Jordana is facing. Sylvie ends with a sigh.

There’s a story behind every door, she says.

Another sigh.

The slogan in the television ad for ancestry.com, the discovery-your-roots website: Discover your story.

My friend Tom Asacker, branding guru and best-selling author, affirms that We all become the stories we tell ourselves.

In Georgia, my neighbor Philip Friday explains, we say why tell the truth when a lie would be just as good. (more…)