Jan 6, 2015

Posted by | Comments Off on The Gift of Paying Tribute

The Gift of Paying Tribute

The Gift of Paying Tribute

The passing of ESPN anchor Stuart Scott has received prominent coverage and deservedly so but the thing that stuck with me is that ESPN being fully aware that Scott was living with cancer had the foresight to conduct a series of video interviews with colleagues and athlete’s.  It was moving it was powerful and it was ready to go within minutes.  There was one unfortunate thing; Scott never got to see it and I suspect it never occurred to the interviewees to pick up the phone and repeat those words to him.  It seems to be one of the blind spots of humans, the ability to acknowledge the impact others have had on us, not to others but to that person.  The rationale is a desire not to make the person feel uncomfortable.  Of course the recipient feeds the notion by protesting any attempt at public adulation.  For some reason we buy into the notion that to accept the praise means you lack humility.    That used to be me.  I cowered from acknowledgement and did everything in my power to defect it, make light of it, or worse, belittle the praiser. Then one day  I got it.  It took 100 plus men paying tribute to me in the presence of my wife and daughter.  But in the moment I shut up and listened for the first time.  What I realized was it was not about me.  It was about how others had their world shift  because they chose to pay attention to and put stock in either my words or way of being.  This was their opportunity to be complete with that transformation by sharing the lesson with others, paying it forward so to speak.  It has happened often for me and I am continually amazed by who has been affected and by the little things that have proved impactful.  It has also given me the ability to feel complete.  There is always more to do but it is comforting to know how broad the ripples have been from my pebbles. So, take the time to acknowledge someone today. it is great gift for you and the person you praise.  If you are on the receiving end, it is not your job, nor is it the time to offer praise in retort.  Just, smile, say “thank you”...

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Dec 31, 2014

Posted by | Comments Off on Questioning What Makes a Classic Classic

Questioning What Makes a Classic Classic

After a year’s hiatus it is time to reengage and start pontificating again.  With a daughter off at college with aspirations of writing for film and television, I have taken it upon myself to school in the classics.  What I have come to discover is the list of great films is much like AP college football rankings; once you gain a spot high on the list, it takes seismic shift to move you off.  Case in point, Citizen Kane. In 1941 it was groundbreaking in its approach to cinematography but in the intervening 70 plus years has there not been a better film made?  From an entertainment perspective and the shear brilliance of its dialog I submit a better film, Casablanca, hit the screen the very next year.  Yet Citizen Kane still sits a top most greatest film lists at number one.  Visually it is innovative but the pacing is stilted and acting almost amateurish. In a prior life I was film critic for the predecessor of New York magazine.  I was low man on the totem pole so I got to see some truly awful films.  I maintained my sanity by finding something redeeming in everything I had to sit through.  So I understand the gap between Earth Girls Are Easy and Citizen Kane but through seeing films I revered through my daughter’s eyes I am getting a better sense of what makes a classic classic.  So my goal is to begin to delve into what makes a film worthy of the moniker of classic.   However, it’ll have to wait until I am done watching Caddyshack for the 23rd time.   Happy New...

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May 7, 2013

By | Comments Off on Final Tenet of the Code – Be an Example to Children

Final Tenet of the Code – Be an Example to Children...

Final Tenet of the Code – Be an Example to Children

Wood: Olive – The olive tree represents youth, vigor and nurturing and the olive branch is often offered as a symbolic offering of peace. In the Bible, following the great flood, Noah sent out a dove. The dove returned with a leaf from an olive tree representing rebirth and a world born anew. The bark of the tree is very green and it remains green and soft long after it is cut giving the impression that is forever...

May 7, 2013

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14th Tenet of the Code – Embrace All Men...

14th Tenet of the Code – Embrace All Men

The MDI Code of Honor was created by the men of what was then known as the Sterling Men’s Divisions.  It was intended to reflect some very basic core values that all men could rally behind and support. Back in the late 1990s the men of the Western Region created an ark which contained 15 different pieces of word. Each stick was made of a specific type of wood and bore a specific design that reflected the way...

May 7, 2013

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13th Tenet of the Code – Be Humble...

13th Tenet of the Code – Be Humble

The MDI Code of Honor was created by the men of what was then known as the Sterling Men’s Divisions.  It was intended to reflect some very basic core values that all men could rally behind and support. Back in the late 1990s the men of the Western Region created an ark which contained 15 different pieces of word. Each stick was made of a specific type of wood and bore a specific design that reflected the way...

Dec 24, 2010

By | Comments Off on The 12th Tenet — Earn and Honor Rank

The 12th Tenet — Earn and Honor Rank...

Earn and Honor Rank   The wood chosen to represent this tenet is  Redwood – The redwood tree is the grandfather of trees.  He stands tall and straight, above all others.  He is long lived and considered wise.  Redwoods attain a stature unparrelled by any other living thing.  They have earned a place in our lore by virtue of their longevity and stature.    The symbol for this tenet is the Eagle – A universal symbol of leadership. ...

Nov 29, 2010

By | Comments Off on Do you live in the now or ponder the posibility of tomorrow?

Do you live in the now or ponder the posibility of tomorrow?...

I have often written about leadership styles and made references to the difference between Warrior leaders (one focused solely on the immediate task) and King leaders (one focused on long term goals). Now let’s look at two of the other predominant male archetypes, the Lover and Magician, and dissect their methods of communication and when each is most appropriate. In the Jungian lexicon of mature male archetypes, the Lover is often held as the great communicator, one who...

Nov 8, 2010

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Dancing With the Devil

I am in the process of recuperating from the MDI Annual Convention in Las Vegas. Year two and it was a huge success. What made it successful was that we built on last year’s inaugural convention. We offered more than 40 seminars this year and had over 280 attendees. The goal is to keep growing and to expand this beyond MDI and hopefully move to venues other than Vegas but that’s a different post. The thing that made...

Sep 16, 2010

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11th Tenet – Only Fight Honorable Battles...

The Code of Honor was created by the men of what was then known as the Sterling Men’s Divisions. It contains 15 different tenets. It was intended to reflect some basic core values that all the men could rally behind, support and use as a benchmark for the ways of being we could expect from one another. In the late 1990s some men from the Western Region (the Bay area around San Francisco) created an ark which contained...

Sep 2, 2010

By | Comments Off on Food Glorious Food

Food Glorious Food

There are certain things we take for granted.  One is that it is important to have a well balanced diet.  I honestly don’t know how true that is but I had the whole concept challenged right before my very eyes.  I spent a week at the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida. http://www.hippocratesinst.org/?gclid=CJigr8qy0KMCFcK77Qodq1vTuQ   The place is premised on the notion that for the most part the body can heal itself so it sets out to provide...

Jul 11, 2010

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What is MDI?

On this site I make frequent reference to MDI.  Some of you know me as the current President of the organization.  Some of you have no idea what I am talking about.  So let me elucidate:  MDI is a 1000 plus men’s organization spread out through out North America.   It is an organization dedicated to fostering teams of men who inspire and empower one another to pursue and realize their passion.  MDI does not actually mean anything.  As...

Jul 2, 2010

By | Comments Off on Instead of Worrying if the Grass is Greener on the Otherside, Mow the Grass You’ve Got

Instead of Worrying if the Grass is Greener on the Otherside, Mow the Grass You’ve Got...

            While everyone is engaged in speculation over where Lebron James will ultimately wind up at the end of this NBA free-agent season, let me touch on a pretty basic premise that will ensure you are happy:  instead of wondering if there is something you are missing in your life, your relationship, or your job, take inventory of what you actually have.  Revel in the stuff that gives you pleasure and figure out how you are going...