Monthly Archives: October 2010

Filling A Witch Niche

Couldn’t put my finger on why I had more opportunities to celebrate Halloween these days than I did as a kid. Inspirational thinking!

Amplify’d from sethgodin.typepad.com

And in the last few years, how did a trivial kids’ holiday turn into a multi-billion dollar bacchanal for adults, complete with ornate houses and bespoke costumes? Is it because of some well-orchestrated Halloween Marketers of America initiative? It just seemed to happen, didn’t it?

Read more at sethgodin.typepad.com

 

If It Hurts It’s Not A Goal

We need to completely revamp our thinking on goal setting.

There are about a million quotes on goals. “A goal without a deadline is a dream.” “Goals have to be SMART.”  “Without goals you lose your way.”

Wah, wah, wah.

Goals are meant to feel good.  Shoot – who would set them if they didn’t?  The problem is the feel good part has to be balanced with the feel bad part which is the task that supports the goal.

Example: Someone sets a goal of fitting into a certain size clothing before a high school reunion. That feels good.

It requires a 35 lb weight loss.  Who really wants to lose 35 lbs?  No one.  It takes work and effort and sustained discipline.

Example: A company sets a goal of increasing sales from $4 million to $6 million. That feels good.

It requires a very delicate balancing act to make sure the cash flow doesn’t dry up as new employees are hired to support the increased sales.

No, it’s not the goals that we fail at. It’s the tasks that get us to the goals that trip us up.  They’re not fun and they require long term gratification skills that, as a society, do not excite us.

So I say let’s teach task setting.  It’s not as dreamy but it sure is more valuable.

A Periodically Repeated Sequence Of Events

I have been thinking a lot about cycles.  I grew up in a farming area and my Dad farmed as a teenager.  There is a specific process to sowing and reaping and when I think of cycles I think of that.

If a farmer believed he could plant in the winter so it would be available for customers in early summer rather than early fall he’d be considered a nut.  If the same farmer believed planting in August would still result in a September harvest he’d be considered a nut.

The first example is what retailers do.  Halloween in July.  Christmas in September. Valentine’s Day right after New Year’s.  In some strange twisted way they believe that having holiday merchandise out when customers are walking through stores looking will create a “don’t miss out” mindset.  I honestly do not know anyone who likes it.

The second example is what grocers do.  Strawberries in October?  Roast turkey in April? Pumpkin pie all year round?  You bet.  Local seasonal eating is long gone.  It’s never as good as when we get it from the farmer’s market or piled up at a local store.

We’ve come to expect to get whatever we want whenever we want it.  Periodically has been taken out of the definition of cycle. The rhythm and flow of life has been interrupted and I think it’s taking a toll.

The comfort of cycles is part and parcel of who we are.  The seasons,animals and plants, birth and death.  Those things don’t change.

I wonder how much of this failure to wait, to know everything comes in its own time, is the bigger part of why we seem to be struggling to thrive.  How can we go back in time without simply going backwards?

Home Is Where The Camera Isn’t

Ohhhh. What a terrible story about Tyler Clementi.  Tyler is the poor kid who couldn’t see his way out of being outed all over the internet and committed suicide.

I don’t know if the guys who perpetrated this really understood how cruel actions can result in irreversible violence loss.  I prefer to think they didn’t.  (Research indicates homophobes are often gay but I digress.)

Three things popped out immediately after hearing the story:

1.    A young gay kid is not necessarily better off now when coming to terms with his/her sexuality than in the past.  Yes, there are lots of kids who have no problems at all but it is NOT mainstream.

2.    Adulthood does not occur at 18. While a happy recipient of the law that changed my status then rather than at 21 all those years ago I see now how foolish that change really was.

3. Most importantly there is no longer a reasonable expectation of privacy – anywhere. Tyler Clementi’s death was ignited by his college roommate. It’s not Big Brother we need to worry about. It’s Big Neighbor, Big Stranger, Big Classmate.

Should our homes – even if it’s a college dorm – be camera free? What kind of rules do we set and would they even be followed?

No privacy. It’s here. How do we help our children, and ourselves, cope?

Home Is Where The Camera Isn’t

Ohhhh. What a terrible story about Tyler Clementi.  Tyler is the poor kid who couldn’t see his way out of being outed all over the internet and committed suicide.

I don’t know if the guys who perpetrated this really understood how cruel actions can result in irreversible violence loss.  I prefer to think they didn’t.  (Research indicates homophobes are often gay but I digress.)

Three things popped out immediately after hearing the story:

1.    A young gay kid is not necessarily better off now when coming to terms with his/her sexuality than in the past.  Yes, there are lots of kids who have no problems at all but it is NOT mainstream.

2.