Authentic Honesty

Why is it that when connected to an automated message, they often advise you to listen carefully to the menu because the options have recently changed – it’s not believable, but they probably want to get you to listen to all the options.

Why not tell the truth – one of the 9 options may help you get connected faster.  Here’s the list.

Being authentic and honest is a better way to work with people.

Winning Cooperation

Before asking someone to believe in you or what you are proposing, the biggest believer must be you.

Hating Less

Karl Rove was the bulldog presidential advisor to President George W. Bush.

David Axelrod, President Barack Obama’s bare knuckles advisor.

The two couldn’t be further apart on just about everything but when you look for common ground, you find your opening.

Both Rove and Axelrod lost parents by suicide while they were young saying “if you probe people’s stories, it’s hard to hate”.  While disagreeing in politics, they have worked together on suicide prevention projects.

“Sometimes you talk to people who you think you don’t admire …. and then, there are elements of them that you learn that you do.”

Joni Mitchell’s Inspiration

78-year old Folk singer Joni Mitchell survived a near-fatal brain aneurysm in 2015 – she had to learn to walk again, relearn the guitar and find her voice once more which she did triumphantly at the Newport Folk Festival recently where she got up and sang.

But one highlight among many was her singing of “Both Sides Now”, a song she wrote, performed at Newport in 1967 and for which she then received criticism – what could a girl in her 20’s know about two sides of life.

New York Times critic Lindsay Zoladz said of the rendition “she seemed to sing it this time with a grinning shrug: I really don’t know life at alI.  As if to say:  You never know – anything can happen.  Even this”.

Anyone who has had a brush with death knows life never looks the same again.

Overcoming obstacles is why we exist and it has its rewards.

Exceeding Expectations

Billy Joel holds back seats in the first few rows of his concerts – the story is he’s tired of looking at bored, rich people (who can pay the high prices).

Instead, he sends his crew into the venue and upgrades a select group of people with the worst seats to sit up front.

They are more than happy to be there – so Joel plays off of that but it also underscores the benefit of exceeding expectations.

Outside the arena of our lives, the ability to exceed expectations has a dual benefit.


I know a person who was in a relationship that lasted long enough to travel together but marry or merge families – it had lots of promise until suddenly, one of the partners disappeared and the other found themselves ‘ghosted’.

No attempt to reestablish contact worked – the aggrieved party never knowing why it happened, why so suddenly and what was wrong with them (if anything really was).

Gili Freedman, an assistant professor of psychology at St. Mary’s College in Maryland quoted recently in The New York Times said even ghosters are filled with the same guilt.

The good news — time heals all and humans are “particularly resilient to ghosting”.

In a study, people who were ghosted in the previous 12 months had the same levels of loneliness, helplessness and life satisfaction than those who had not been ghosted.

So, the abandoned person wasn’t the only thing that disappeared, so did the side effects.

Nobody Wants to Work Anymore

So my friend Tom Taylor pointed me to a Snopes story that cited clippings from 14 articles that were published between 1894 (not a typo, yes 1894) and 2022 that illustrated how the same old verse has been used in the course of history about people not wanting to work.

Today, it likely means after sitting out the pandemic and thinking about it, many wanted more – a better job, more money, the ability to keep working from home, lower costs of commuting and child care.

Companies have scrambled to compete for job seekers looking to change the status quo – they’ll have to overcome career and workplace objections or risk not employing the best and brightest.

And what should workers do in this not-so-new mindset of not wanting to work at a job that doesn’t work for them?

Find an organization that has the right purpose.

Question whether the work is worthwhile.

Ask, is this a job where I can make a difference?

Over and Next

The legendary TV producer Norman Lear of “All in the Family”, “Maude”, “The Jeffersons”, “One Day at a Time” among others has just two words of advice on the meaning of life on his 100th birthday.

Over and Next.

“When something is over, it is over and we are on to next.  Between those words, we live in the moment, make the most of them.”

And actress Rita Moreno referring to Lear had one of the greatest compliments you could give a person:

“I wish there was a way that they could make copies of him.  Wouldn’t that be marvelous? … What a super, super addition to the human race he is.”

The Gatekeeper

Let no one place a thought into your ahead without you first approving it.

A tennis player wouldn’t let a coach get away with saying, “hope you don’t slip and fall” – if they did, it would be disturbing to say the least.

There is no place for the fear of others, jealously or hurt in our thoughts.

But people tend to give unfettered access directly into our subconscious without even asking “if this winds up in my brain and I replay it over and over again, is it good for me?”

We are the gatekeeper of what gets into our psyche – approve everything before allowing access and positivity will flourish.


When asked to volunteer, be first.

The shot of confidence that comes from this is incalculable.

The action precedes the feeling of increased confidence.

(And yes, you can handle it).