Look to This Day

On this, the selected birthday (she had to pick something) of my Grandma Sara, I am sharing her favorite poem, from a sanskrit translation.  You can also find it on tea boxes and posters.  It is still profound.

Salutation to the Dawn

Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life,
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence
The bliss of growth
The glory of action
The splendor of beauty.

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision,
But today well lived makes every yesterday
A dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day!
Such is the salutation of the dawn

The Contribution Ethic

This came to me from my friend Barbara, as part of discussion on Personal Philosophy at Work – the author is listed below.

The Contribution Ethic

1. Just help. Make yourself useful. You aren’t just there, waiting. There’s no waiting. Just help.

2. A great player is worth less than a great teammate. (aka “The Steve Nash Effect” or “The Yankees’ Blunder”) A great player might or might not improve the group, but a great teammate always does. (Imagine a sales team of 10, each selling 10 units a month. A star might come in as the 11th employee and sell 50 percent more than everyone else, raising the group to 115. A great teammate, however, might come in and sell 12 units, but also help everyone else sell 12, raising the department’s output to 132. Thus, the great teammate seems to produce less but is actually more than twice as valuable.)

3. Your half is 60 percent.

4. Innovation is a subversive activity. You can’t expect management and/or co-workers to drool with excitement over your “I have an idea!” After all, most ideas are suggestions and most suggestions are complaints. On the other hand, if an idea is truly original, then expect resistance; indeed, welcome it as a measure of originality. Organizations are built for continuity not creativity. That’s why you need to demonstrate how the idea will work, and you might need the guerrilla’s wiles. Ideas are nothing next to proposals; proposals are nothing next to experiments.

5. Giving time without attention is a gift-wrapped empty box.

6. Assume the best. If you accept that every 10th person is a jerk and that you’re a jerk one-10th of the time, then you can meet the world with the smile of the victor, for the odds are with you.

7. Being right is overrated. If your goal is usefulness, then what matters is progress.

8. Being wrong is underrated. Admitting you were wrong is wisdom gained.

9. Always bring something to read.

10. Think like a hero; work like an artist. If the end is helpfulness, that’s the hero mind. If the means is exploration and learning, that’s the artist’s mind. When kindly attention meets curiosity, you move gracefully through the world.

Dale Dauten is a syndicated columnist. He can be reached at dale@dauten.com.

Lost and Found

Today I learned how to put contact info on my new blackberry so that it shows even when my phone is (company required) password protected and Contacts are not accessible.  For someone who loses things at a heart-breaking rate, this kind of thing is important to me!

Settings > Owner > [edit to add how someone could reach you if you lost your cell phone]

Thanks to Barbara, who found out that I could do this at all!

What useful thing have you learned?

Take Your Seat

Today I learned, again, to look and think before taking a seat on the bus.

My morning ride to Boston is a crunch today.  In general, this is a comforatable coach, but because some seats are removable, the space between them is variable.  In this row, there is barely enough room for me, and I’m not very tall (unless we are talking weight charts and then I stretch right out!). 

So take an extra minute and scope out the situation before choosing a seat.  That’s what I have learned today and it’s only 7:30 in the morning!

What have you learned today?

More So

Today I learned again/remembered  that people don’t really change, unless they really really want to.  Not if I really want them to – that doesn’t actually count.

Which reminds me of something I’ve heard someone say that their mothers alway said: “Be careful how you are, because when you are older you will be more so!”  What a concept.  Although this does contradict my first point, doesn’t it?  if you can be careful then you can change, right?

What do you think?