Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Borrowed Inspiration: Exploring my Bucket List

I recently read the blog of a friend, Ami Becker. She posted what I thought was a unique challenge to her readers to make suggestions to her for her bucket list based upon what they know of her interests, character and abilities. I've the privilege of knowing Ami several months, having originally met her via a local tweet-up group of which we're members. Having seen her earlier tweet that had preempted her blog post and based upon what I've learned about Ami since meeting her, I recommended a few items from my bucket list to her:
  • Flying a kite over the White Cliffs of Dover
  • Tracing the footsteps of an ancestor through their home
  • Riding in a hot air balloon at sunset
Her post got me thinking about the contents of my list and how much do I feasibly believe I will accomplish before I leave this life. Her challenge has sparked in me a desire to evaluate my priorities. Part of me finds the concept of a bucket list a mysterious, adventuresome, rite of passage that all persons should have. But, at times I wonder if my bucket list may distract me from the here and now. Does it stir in me some small sense of discontent for things that I've not yet accomplished?

So to Ami, I say thank you for inspiring me to search through my list with a new perspective. I plan to take a critical eye to it's contents and also turn that critical eye inward and determine the spirit behind my bucket list entries. Are they just more things to say "hey, I've done that" or do they actually hold profound meaning, will those entries improve the lives of others, are all of those items really necessary, etc?

So, do you have a bucket list? What's on it?

Friday, April 16, 2010

What to be and what not to be? That is the Social Media Question.

Practically speaking, social media platforms are designed to be communication forums. Communication is an interactive, two-way, organic process. If it's forced, it's obvious; if it's natural, it can produce modicums of trust and insight that can eventually manifest phenomenal relationships with time. Here's the real kicker, investing time and building relationship can be fun. Yes, fun and rewarding.

To reap the rewards of natural communication, I'd recommend the following:
  • Listening
  • Learning
  • Conversing
  • Sharing
  • Researching
  • Following
  • Investing
  • Trusting
  • Relating
  • Acknowledging
  • Doing
  • Engaging
In reading this list, you should notice a common theme...did you catch it? These are all verbs, that require action on your part as the person behind the tweets, podcasts, updates, whatever form of content generating you are doing. This list involves organic engagement on your part.

If however, you're not a fan of engagement and wish to alienate those persons that could have potentially followed, become a fan or friend, subscriber or any other term that indicates them as consumer of your content, than try this assembly on for size:
  • Dismissing
  • Ignoring
  • Automating
  • Refusing
  • Assailing
  • Boring
  • Tiring
  • Repulsing
  • Preaching
  • Annoying
Yes, these are all active verbs as well, but the difference... your content is contentious, dry, and impersonal. Sure you'll find some folks that follow, friend, subscribe, etc; but they're usually a carbon copy of what you're doing. They're other businesses and individuals also pumping out link after link after link, brand blasting, all tools of the marketing and self-promotion machines.

So have you decided that social media is an arena in which you want to engage? Then when you step into that arena, you should do just that, engage. Yes, social media can be a waste of time, but on the other hand, it requires time of those followers, fans, friends, and subscribers. So don't waste their time. Make it worth their while, and yours too.

So, what to be? Be all that you can be, and more.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The joy in relating...

Where oh where...did timeliness go? For me it has flown out the window to a degree these last few weeks. I exercise my utmost to keep all details of life, home and work, time-managed to the best of my ability. In the last two weeks, that's not been the case. For instance, my desk at work has piles of to-do lists... sticky notes and scraps of paper are helter skelter. I barely can identify that it is a desk except for the fact that I know there's one under those piles somewhere! I am not even going to address the projects amassed on the floor!

At home, things aren't as stacked, but there still are things to do! Couple loads of laundry here, a carpet to be vacuumed there. Nothing too terribly pressing, but still in need of eventually being attended.

But, when it all boils down to it, what's my excuse? It's not an excuse at all, there's a quite valid reason for letting tasks get piled up beyond my typical comfort level. The reason is simple, slowing down to intentionally enjoy and develop joy in the art of relationship building.

Of late, in the professional arena, it's been building relationship with an airline partner that resumed service in our market. Time was needed to re-introduce them to audiences that had developed new buying habits in the 16 month hiatus our partner had taken. Now, they're back and my attention was taken off my tasks and re-directed to re-introductions. It's been incredible to experience the returns on this re-allocation of my time and efforts.

At home, chores are left to another day, because quite frankly there's so much more joy to be had in being shoulder-to-shoulder with my hubby on our interests, hobbies, and assorted household projects. Marriage is about doing life together, and that's just what we've been up to!

So all-in-all this post is not a lament, but indeed a challenge to myself and others to refocus on the priorities, your relationships...your spouse, your children, your friends, neighbors, colleagues, coworkers, whomever. If you can think of a person, chances are there's a relationship waiting to be developed there. Go, live, relate, enjoy, choose joy.