Friday, February 1, 2013

Words Banished in 2013

It's out, folks:

Lake Superior State University 2013 List of Banished Words
They've banned words like YOLO (thank goodness), fiscal cliff (that was quick!) and boneless wings ("Can we just call them chicken (pieces)?" John McNamara, Lansing, Mich.)

In case you missed last year's list, like I did, here it is. Darn, I was supposed to stop using the word "amazing" last year. It's going to be hard to scrub that out of my speech. Was trickeration really a thing last year? I had no idea.
If you're looking for other things to avoid saying, take a look at my life-blog post, Let’s be careful with our words, ok?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Rising to a New Standard

Last year I attended a Leadership Conference for my business. This conference, held at the Cincinnati home of one of our leaders, was led by several millionaires within our business. They shared stories of turning their ordinary lives into ones of greatness and success - not just through the amount of money they've earned, but through the numbers of people they have helped and the good that they can do with their earnings. Their leadership ideas have inspired me.

I've never met a millionaire before or entered one's home. I have never met anyone who has two soccer fields and a volleyball court in their backyard, or who have a built-in racquetball court in their home. I was impressed by these things, but even more impressed by leaders who were willing to offer days of motivation and business insight to up-and-coming young entrepreneurs.

One thing I learned from the speakers is to surround myself with the type of people I want to become. To become a success, I need to cultivate friendships with people who are farther down the road to success in my field.

Andy Andrews, the motivational speaker and author of Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success: The Traveler's Giftsays that we often define friendships as "People who accept us the way we are." He says that's nonsense. The person at the McDonald's drive-thru accepts us the way we are, because she doesn't care about us.

True friends encourage us to be more that we would have been otherwise. Greater success is found by seeking out people like these, who will support us in ever growing and expanding our capabilities. We grow as leaders by following leaders we admire, and by building relationships with those who lovingly lead us to greatness.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Book Review: "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", Hunter S. Thompson

"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", Hunter S. Thompson

Before reading this book, I read a letter from HST in which he claimed that he didn't do any drugs while on this assignment - he wrote the story to give the 'feeling' of a weekend of heavy drug use. I tend to believe that simply because it seems impossible to do the amount of drugs they did and still be able to function.

If the ongoing drug imagery, which occupies about half of the book, was made up, what was Thompson's purpose? It seems to me that he wrote about incredibly transgressive  behavior in an over-the-top style as a contrast to the ridiculousness of ordinary society he encountered. Certainly the girl who painted Barbra Streisand portraits, the cops giving silly lectures on drugs, the self-important news reporters all seem absurd, and perhaps they wouldn't have appeared quite so strange if they weren't juxtaposed with HST and the attorney's actions.

I struggled with myself while reading this book. Some of the scenes were laugh-out-loud funny and all of it had a manic, redlining strain to it. I kept wondering what outrageousness was coming next, which I think was HST's goal.

At the same time, I kept wondering how much of it was true. I had difficulty accepting the scene in which the attorney threatened a waitress with a knife, and their callous treatment of a girl they had drugged and raped was horrifying. If they really had destroyed two rental cars and several hotel rooms, these are despicable acts also.

I was able to enjoy the story only with a great suspension of disbelief, an assurance to myself that much of this probably didn't happen and if it did, no one apparently was hurt too badly.
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