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Common Ground

This is a guest entry from my good friend and fraternity brother, David Spiegel. Dave runs, co-runs, and helps keep going some great businesses. He also is a kind soul with a dry sense of humor. Here's Dave:Common GroundThere can be no doubt that we are living in highly polarized times. Passions, feelings, and tempers can be inflamed in an instant. This diversity is increasing on a daily basis.Still, I believe when we act as mature rational individuals, we can and will be able to find common ground. Take the relationship between my good friend and fraternity brother Doug and myself.One of us is true blue.The other one's blood runs as red as the stripes on the flag.We never argue about it. In fact, I can't ever remember it ever being an issue. Of course when we meet at our frat's yearly get together and one of us is wearing a red hat the other one naturally tends to bristle a bit. Still, we respect each other and value each other's opinion, no matter how misguided.Y…

Positive Prevails

Is it hard to muddle thru when people keep talking about how hard it is and how senseless it all seems?Of course. But it is not senseless. And the hard stuff build resilience to make us stronger, smarter, and more open to change. Everything you've ever done has helped to make you better. Keep going. Keep growing. Stay strong.It's hard to resist a relentlessly positive outlook.Stay positive because positive prevails over negative. It might take a while, but positive wins.-- doug smith

Quick Quote: Create That Picture

Creativity is sometimes the willingness to picture things better than they are, and then creating that picture.
-- doug smith

Go Big

Are you struggling with motivation? Do you know someone else who is?
You do get to choose how motivated you'll be. Go big.
-- doug smith

Give It a Push

Sometimes you only need a minute more to go from tired to inspired. Give it a push.
-- doug smith

Just One Thing

"It's all too much," I've heard people say. "We're being overwhelmed," say others. "We'll never get the answer," says a pessimist. Go ahead and sigh. Go ahead and breathe. It's today and you are up to it.
What if you simply changed one thing for the better?
-- doug smith

How's Your Reading Life?

Are you a big reader? Do you read from one book or another every day? 
I'm usually reading four or more books at a time. Not all at once (what an image that is!) but it's not unusual to pick one up, read a few chapters, then switch to fiction, then something else. Books give us depth. The slow journey through ideas helps us learn.  Reading helps to stretch our minds.
Reading readies the mind for bigger and better things.
What are you reading today?
-- doug smith

The Essential Question

Helping someone else solve a problem could help you solve ten of your own.
How is that? By helping others you develop your problem solving skills, and that will serve you later. Also by helping others you build relationships with people who may well help you later to solve your own problems.
The essential question is "how can I help?"
-- doug smith

Thinking about Thinking?

Are you thinking too much? 
I'm a thinker. I like to think. I like to think so much that I over-think some things. It can be immobilizing, and that's not useful. It's useful to be cautious. It's responsible to plan for contingencies. But, it's silly to think until I fall into stinking thinking -- talking myself out of what I want or need to do. 
It's better to stay inspired. 
If you aren't inspired you're either thinking too much or too little.
Plan well, then get moving.
-- doug smith

Take Charge of Your Future

What's in your future?
Have you set meaningful, noble goals to get you there? The future is neutral. You've got to drive the ride.
The future does not care if you are in it -- it's up to you.
-- doug smith

No Point In Blaming

Do you know how it feels when someone blames you for something you didn't do? It is irritating, isn't it? And, even if you DID do it (and of course, you didn't, did you?) blaming does not help. When there is a problem, the goal is to solve it -- not assign blame. Claiming that it belongs to someone else might push it away momentarily but guess what? Like a whirling boomerang it comes whizzing back. 
Shifting a problem is not solving a problem, and when it comes back to you (and it will) it's worse.
Why not get started solving the problem?

-- doug smith