Does working for yourself mean running your own business?

This post at Zen Habits blog is certainly worth a read and I’m sure it has value for those interested in starting their own business. However, I would suggest that the freedom and value mentioned in the post can be applied equally well in a ‘traditional’ work environment. Why can’t you be your own boss, work for yourself, do what you want instead of what someone tells you to do in just about any workplace? Be your own boss of your career. Be ambitious and set goals that your boss can support. Doesn’t this mean you are doing what you want not what you’re told to do? If you don’t want to define the work and do it yourself (i.e., you have to be told), maybe you should look for another job.

Don’t get me wrong. I agree with and appreciate the points of the Zen Habits article. I just feel that the same ideas can be applied where you work today. In fact, I believe it is critical that traditional workers apply these concepts to help traditional companies innovate and thrive.

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

Okay, first off, those of you who I know too well should get your mind out of the gutter after reading that title and actually check out this article: 30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself. You may have heard many of these suggestions before, but putting it into one list seems to make more of an impact. A lot of what is listed can fall into ‘live in the moment.’ This is something I’ve spent a lot of time on lately. Part of it comes from my yoga classes, where my instructor takes a meditative approach. Part of it comes from reading Zen Habits, a newly-discovered (for me) blog of thoughtful articles on simplifying life.

Whatever path you take to get there, I highly recommend investing time to take care of yourself. Get healthy in mind and body. Watch the stress disappear.

Looking for stimulation (intellectual, that is)? TED Talks is worthyour time.

It’s been a while since I blogged about TED. Actually, it’s been a while since I blogged about anything. I recently got back into TED while stuck in Detroit airport for a 4 hour layover. The huge variety of topics in their video library makes it easy to absorb idle time.

What fascinated me most this time was a presentation by Aaron Koblin titled “Artfully visualizing our humanity.” It’s amazing to watch how he represents data and input from large groups of people. Two projects in particular stood out.

The first is a crowdsourced interpretation of a Johnny Cash video – The Johnny Cash Project – where people submit their own renderings of frames of the video that get pieced together. There are a lot of interactive features in this one, so spend some time playing with it.

The second project – The Wilderness Downtown – is another music video. This one asks you to enter the address of the home where you grew up. It uses this to grab satellite and Google street view photos that it integrates into a personalized video. It’s based on HTML 5, so make sure you have a current browser and reasonable computing power.


I Love Air Travel

Where do I begin? Was it the fact that the only flight available left at 6 am from an airport 35 miles away? Was it the maniacs on the road driving 90 miles an hour at 4 in the morning? Or was it the truck drivers who couldn’t stay in their lanes? Maybe it was the 300 year old DC9 with sealed up ashtrays that I don’t think were emptied before they were sealed.

I love air travel.

Something to think about after the consumerist craze of the holiday season.

Our Fundamental Being
Evelyn Underhill

We mostly spend our lives conjugating three verbs: to Want, to Have, and to Do. Craving, clutching, and fussing, on the material, political, social, emotional, intellectual, even on the religious plane, we are kept in perpetual unrest: forgetting that none of these verbs have any ultimate significance, except so far as they are transcended by and included in, the fundamental verb, to Be: and that Being, not wanting, having and doing, is the essence of the spiritual life.

Source: The Spiritual Life


What does love mean?  Four to eight year olds respond:

  • When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.  You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.
  • Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.
  • Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.
  • Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.
  • If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate. 
  • Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.
  • You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it.  But if you mean it, you should say it a lot.  People forget.

Dog’s Purpose (according to a 6-year-old)

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experienceThe next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are Shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, “I know why.” Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The six-year-old continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”Live simply.Love generously.Care deeply.Speak kindly.Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

  • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.
  • Take naps.
  • Stretch before rising.
  • Run, romp, and play daily.
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
  • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
  • On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass. On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
  • When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
  • Be loyal.
  • Never pretend to be something you’re not.
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

Welcome Riley

Welcome our new little boy – Riley!

Our new little boy, Riley arrived November 17, 2007 at 3:18 p.m. He checks in at 11 inches tall and a healthy 9 lbs. Riley was adopted from DownUnder Labradoodles where he was born on Saturday, September 22, 2007 at 1:30 am to proud parents
Hannah and Apache.

Puppy and parents are all doing well, although the same cannot be said for the wood floors Riley has been christening.