September 2015

Dogs are social liberators.

My colleague Olga chats up anybody on the boardwalk who’s walking their dog.

My friend Rich takes his pug to Happy Hour.

A woman strolls past me, walking her poodle. I sit in my car, convertible top down, waiting for the light to change. The woman tosses me a smile.

I think to myself, she wouldn’t have smiled if she wasn’t with her poodle. (more…)

I am dazzled.

Sitting in the glorious Berlin Philharmonie on a Sunday night, listening to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra tear into Faure, Schoenberg, Ravel.

I am dazzled most by rising-star-composer Matthias Pintscher who is conducting. Whew, this guy embodies music, I think to myself.

Pintscher conducts with his entire body. The fire of his grand gestures. The grace of his gentle coaxing. The effortless dynamic between the two.

The generous way Pintscher acknowledges his musicians during the ovation. The way he bows to the audience, hand on his heart. The vigor with which he enters from the wings.

Always from the core, as my trainer would say.

Music embodied.

On a NPR news program, best-selling author and commentator David Brooks is asked to predict the messages Pope Francis will bring to his US visit.

Who Pope Francis IS, Brooks replies, is the message.

The Pope’s easy smile, his wide open heart.

Lovingkindness embodied. (more…)

The vicissitudes of travel. One evening in Frankfurt last week my laptop goes bust. There is no Geeksquad to fix it. I am laptopless for 3 more days. So here is one of my favorite EBs from over a year ago. The topic of focus forever interests me.

Dread and joyful anticipation.

That sums up my spirit as I picked up an old copy of TIME magazine.

Does anyone still go to TIME for news?

But its cover story on The Mindful Revolution prompted me to buy my first issue in over a decade.

Dread and anticipation.

I believe in mindfulness. Mindfulness practices have been around since the dawn of time. I mean, really, truly, did we need a cover about the latest neuroplasticity research to be convinced that being mindful works?

Dread and joy were confirmed as I flipped through the pages of TIME. Joy prevailed.

I am interested in an energized workplace. Let us focus on mindfulness at work.

Misunderstanding #1: Mindfulness = meditation. You know, sitting quietly, eyes closed, observing the wanderings of the mind. The TIME cover cliché. (more…)

My two favorite sports are in full swing.

Serena Williams looks to cement her mythic athlete status by completing a single-year Grand Slam at the US Open. In Europe, qualification games for the European Soccer Championships are played around the clock.

My eyes are glued to the television set in Germany with my mom, watching the Germany-Poland game. The poetry of a sport well executed stirs my soul.

Infinite lessons as I watch athletes who excel at what they do. Business lessons. Life lessons. Two factors, in particular, define the athletic edge.

  • A Mastery Mindset

Athletes train and train and train. Most start with a healthy dose of natural ability, but athletes work harder at their trade than the rest of us do. This commitment to personal mastery, to intentional practice and incremental improvement, is their differentiator. Most of us reach a plateau, often a fine one, and coast.

I have a mastery mindset when it comes to physical exercise, thanks to my trainer. I have it when it comes to writing, thanks to my study with a troika of writing luminaries and editors who elevate what I turn in. In most other parts of my life I coast. Sometimes great fun. It does not yield the rewards of mastery. (more…)