Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Since We "Shall not pass this way again" .....

"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness or abilities that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."

William Penn

Many people are experiencing really challenging times right now and it occurs to me that we should all take note of Penn’s words and, more importantly, act on them. Our friends, relatives, colleagues and the bigger world need our caring and committed participation.

Shortly after my friend John Denver’s untimely death, our mutual friend Judy Hill shared the following with me:

"The first time I heard John Denver sing in person was in front of the old Aspen post office in 1970. He was standing hidden inside a cardboard freezer carton he had painted to look like a juke box. You could put a donation in the slot to Touchstone, the free local mental health clinic and choose your song. He and his guitar would go into action!"

I learned later that at that time, John wasn't famous, wasn't rich and was simply doing what he could for a cause he believed in – building a new clinic. In his case, doing what he could was to SING ... and in so doing, he made his unique contribution. In the 11 years of our friendship, again and again I witnessed him "doing what he could." The John Denver concerts we sponsored for The Adoption Exchange, the Aspen Camp for the Deaf, Give Kids the World and the One World One People Foundation were only possible because of John's willingness to greatly discount his fee and then do all the advance promotional work without charge.

He was and is a powerful influence and model of love in action for my life ... and for many others. Please share your commitments to share what you can by commenting below.

With love and respect,


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Of Course "You're Right!"

“Our attitudes, opinions, beliefs and judgments are, simply put, our attitudes, opinions, beliefs and judgments. They are not universal truths.”

from “Living an Extraordinary Life” by Robert White

I received some feedback in my recent reader survey that objected to my practice of not commenting whenever I quote myself. So here goes...

Our attitudes, opinions, beliefs and judgments are, simply put, our attitudes, opinions, beliefs and judgments. They are not universal truths.

Alright, I admit I’m being a bit snarky here but I really did say what I wanted to say when I wrote the book. (available signed and inscribed at http://www.ExtraordinaryBook.com)

This thought is connected to one of the most commented on chapters in “Living an Extraordinary Life,” the one about our overwhelming need to “be right.” It’s a relationship and team accomplishment killer which gets in the way of success at every level.

Complaints and comments welcome by commenting below!

With love and respect,


P. S. Robert’s book is now available for only $9.99 on Kindle http://tinyurl.com/29u8265 and for almost every digital reader (iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, etc.) including your computer at http://tinyurl.com/2azpjqq

Inscribed and signed hard copies are always available at http://www.ExtraordinaryBook.com.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Leap in the Dark

"We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success."

Henry David Thoreau

Our thinking mind—at least the conscious part—is the source of our uniqueness as a human being. It can also be our enemy when confronted with risk, especially the risks we know we must take in order to achieve extraordinary results.

I read Seth Godin’s blog regularly (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/) and he often refers to the negative effects possible when we act out of our “lizard brain.” You know, that reptilian monster overly concerned with survival and seemingly oblivious to our purpose, vision, values and goals.

My biggest risks taken have led to incredible satisfaction, joy and success: moving from Green Bay to Milwaukee, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, Denver, Aspen, back to Tokyo then Hong Kong and back to the USA. Changing careers at 27. Getting married (all right, that didn’t turn out too well) and having children (that turned out very well). All of that represented a “leap in the dark” and required that I quiet my lizard brain.

My seminar and executive coaching experience is that at some level we all know “what’s next” for us in our personal, professional and community involvement lives. What often stops us is fear of the dark.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and perhaps how you bring light to the subject by commenting below.

With love and respect,


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Genius or Hard Work?

“Genius begins great works; labor alone finishes them.”

Joseph Joubert

Recently I’ve been reading a lot about marketing in the 21st Century. Included are contrasting opinions on that plain old four letter word ….. work!

In his book “The Four-Hour Workweek” Timothy Ferris essentially lobbies against work. In a Success Magazine audio interview, wine guy (and huge marketing success story) Gary Vaynerchuk says the opposite: that only long days and lots of them will bring success.

Who’s right? Like one of my favorite philosophers, Forrest Gump, famously said, “a little of both?”

Certainly we can benefit from Ferriss’s counsel to focus only on high value added activities and delegate the rest. That said, I really have never seen an example of extraordinary success that did not include lots of hard work. If you’re doing what you love and are 100% committed to, it might not seem like work, but the hours and days necessary for great results are still required.

As always, your feedback (if you can fit it in while working hard …. or not) is welcome by commenting below.

With love and respect,


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How's Your Stuff?

"He had somehow lost that human touch, and he gradually dried up. What he had done in his life had perhaps haunted him."

From Quantum of Solace by Ian Fleming

Executives with whom I’ve had the privilege to coach for performance often comment that the initial work we do on “completing their past” is key to the extraordinary results they create later in the relationship.

What a friend refers to as the “normally neurotic” person …. in other words, you and me …. tend to carry with us the unnecessary burdens of past blame, shame, regret, guilt and even success. We attempt to launch ourselves into a future freely chosen; yet we’re weighted down with all that – time for a technical term here – “stuff.”

Our past hopefully includes experiences that provide great memories and lead to greater wisdom. Anything else—especially that “stuff”—should be looked at as just that, the past, and just let it go.

Please share your stories of “stuff let go” and what it meant to creating a better future by commenting below.

With love and respect,