The most valuable lesson you can learn from your local news team.

I love the movie Anchorman. It’s a hilarious look at a local TV news team. It has everything you could possibly want in a movie, including Will Ferrell, a gang fight between rival news crews, and a totally random musical number. The movie is dense with classic quotes. And it taught me what San Diego means in German.

The movie also teaches you about the 5 roles that make up a local news team.

  1. The Anchor. The leader of the crew. He or she delivers the general news. They greet the viewer at the top of the show and get to deliver their catchphrase at the end. #StayClassySanDiego

2. The Co-Anchor They are like the Vice President. They help deliver the main news, offer a banter partner, and appeal to a slightly different audience. The anchor and co-anchor are often different genders, ages, races, hair colors, or mustache styles, depending on how evolved management is.

3. The Sports Person. They share updates on local, and national sports news. They typically seem the most athletic-y. They were often former athletes and really into sports. They may have considered becoming a PE teacher but realized they don’t want to wear sweatpants all day.

4. The Investigative Reporter This is the reporter who helps expose the wrongdoings in the community. In school, they were the tattletale and probably got picked on a lot. Their job is their revenge.

5. The Weatherperson. They report the weather. They are usually fun and outgoing. They typically seem like they would be the most fun to hang out with. The community usually loves them and they love them right back. I have some Weatherperson friends including Mark Baden at WISN12 in Milwauke. Pete Bouchard at NBC 10 in Boston and I played football together in high school. And the Meteorological Badass, Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel, grew up one town over from me in Vermont.

One of These Things is Not Like The Others

While these 5 work together as one crew, they offer 2 distinctly different types of information to viewers. The Anchor, Co-Anchor, Investigative Reporter and Sports Person report, recap and summarize significant events that have recently happened. Which is valuable.

However…

The Weatherperson’s great value is not in recapping what happened in the past 24 hours, but in shedding light on what will happen next. Sure, they will tell you what the temperature was that day, how much rain or snow fell, and maybe what time the sun came up and went down. But like Bob Dylan sang, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

The Weatherperson is uniquely valuable in predicting future weather. And they have gotten really good at this. The science of meteorology and weather forecasting is astounding. They are able to predict what the future holds in terms of temperature, cloudage, windage and precipitation. They have the ability to forecast conditions by the hour, even many days in advance. That is freaking amazing!

The Weather Person’s knowledge and insights about future weather enable you to make important decisions and preparations. They provide information that helps you decide what to wear, and what actions to take when. The forecast helps you plan the activities for the day or week ahead. And they let you know when you should apply extra glue to your toupee.

Forecasting Your Life

Taking a cue from the Weatherperson, there is another highly valuable skill that you should develop that will have a major positive impact on your future. It doesn’t involve quitting your job and running off to join the weatherperson circus. I’m suggesting you hone and polish your skills as a Regret Forecaster.

Dedicate time each day, week, season, and year to forecast your future regrets. This will include things you did do that you wish you hadn’t done and things you didn’t do that you wish you had. By doing so you are able to predict future outcomes while there is still time to alter them. While hindsight is said to be 20/20, regret forecasting can help you dial in your foresight with great accuracy too. And it costs a lot less.

There Are 4 Major Things That People regret.

  1. Not doing the foundational work you should have when you should have done it. (Doing the work, saving money, getting the education, exercising etc.)
  2. Not taking the risk you should have taken. (Starting the business, writing the book, traveling to interesting places. Changing jobs.)
  3. Not developing, maintaining or reigniting relationships. (There is an unpredictable time limit on these activities. Because most of your friends and family are mortals.)
  4. Having done the wrong thing. (Think cheating, lying, murdering, unprotected sexing.)

The older I get and the honester I become with myself the better my regret radar becomes. Today I find myself regretting less and less. Not because I don’t care. But because I care more. Because I have taken more time to think about the future and the end of my days and the unfinished business, missed opportunities and untended relationships. I use the regret forecast to feel the sting today. Which inspires me to act now. And prevents me from murdering others.

Key Takeaway

Start calibrating your regret radar now. Write down the 4 areas of your life to examine. See what pings. Start addressing that today. Do the work now that will matter later. Take the chances you know you should. Avoid the wrong, because that is always right. And most importantly, develop and maintain as many relationships as you can. At the end of your days, that will matter most.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I’ve learned so far check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

Are you making each day an original?

Your alarm clock invites you to the day at the same time each morning. And if you follow the best sleep science you are probably going to bed at the same time each night. But in between those 2 bookends, remember this:

Each day is meant to be a work of art. Not a reproduction.

Your time is your life. In order to create a colorful, beautiful, interesting or epic life you have to treat each day like an original piece of art in your collection. Try new things with each new day. Experiment and explore. Learn and grow. Smack it up. Flip it. Rub it down. Like BBD would do.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of simply copying and pasting each day. (What we used to call carbon copying. Or Xeroxing. Or dittoing.) But those identical days simply produce identical experiences, identical feelings and identical perspectives. The new and the novel make you more interesting. They help expand your thinking. And they make the world around you more interesting too.

Key Takeaway

Don’t simply go through the same motions every day. Add to your portfolio of experiences and successes. Fill your personal gallery with new memories and unique ideas each day. It is how you turn your life into a work of art that others will want to imitate.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+ If you enjoy ideas on personal growth check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

How much turkey will you leave uneaten?

Life is like a whole roasted turkey. You know, like the one you ate yesterday for Thanksgiving. It’s up to you to decide how much meat you are willing to go after. And how much you are willing to leave. But make no mistake, there is far more available than most people are willing to extract.

We all start with the easy and obvious. The big hunks of opportunity and enjoyment that everyone focuses on. Those pieces are so easy to find that they can fool you into thinking that the big stuff is the only stuff. Like Oreo Double Stuf.

But then there is all the other less obvious meat that life offers us that is often even better than what typically steals the spotlight. It requires more work and exploration to find. It rewards the curious and open-minded. It rewards those willing to get messy. And it is well worth the effort. Just ask Andy Dufresne.

The act of exploring for more is rewarding in itself. Finding the hidden value is extremely satisfying. Adding it to your life creates endless advantages.

Key Takeaway

To get the most out of life dig deeper. Look closer. Find all that was served up for you to find. The return on the time you invest is well worth the energy. The greatest treasures are not sitting on the surface. They were saved to be enjoyed by the few willing to put in the work to seek them out.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

Remember, this is your life.

Newsflash! Your life is flying by you!

Your days are ticking off far faster than you realize. And if you are like most people you are not taking enough time to enjoy your success, accomplishment, and self-actualization. You are not enjoying the special people and special moments as much as you should. The worst part is that most people don’t realize this until the final credits roll on their lives.

My Wedding Day

During the 5 months that my wife Dawn and I were engaged, I talked to a lot of married couples about their wedding day experience. Time after time I heard that the day flew past in a blur. I heard from friends and relatives that they didn’t really remember much from the day because it was a sensory overload experience.

Not wanting that to happen to us, Dawn and I went into our wedding day with a plan. Throughout the day, we would stop regularly for a minute or 2, hold hands, and just look around. Like the Schuyler Sisters in Hamilton. 

We would quietly drink in the moment together. We wanted to remember who was there, and what the people and place looked like. We wanted to see the details that blur in a busy life.

Each time we hit pause that day I felt like I was taking a moment to write in my journal. It provided a quiet moment to capture my thoughts, feelings and observations.

Today, when I think back about my wedding day, I have clear memories. And most of them come from those pauses. They are in my head like photographs in an album. (And when I look at the photographs, every time I do it makes me laugh.)

I have continued to use this Wedding Day Pause technique regularly ever since. In the middle of a fun, significant or proud moment for anyone in my family I will stop and say, ‘This is your life.’ And we take a moment to place that moment in the special mental album of feelings, experiences and observation. It is like stopping to smell the roses. And remembering that smelling roses, lilacs and magnolias is life. Not a detour from it.

Remember the words of the great Ferris Beuller:

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

― Ferris Bueller 1980s Philosopher & Hooky Player

So today, tomorrow and beyond, when good things happen to you, your family, friends and coworkers, remember to stop and remind people that this is their life. Grab and hold that special moment. Remember that life is good. And seek out as many of those good moments in life as you can find.

Key Takeaway

Life is a sensory overload experience. To drink in all the wow and wonder take a regular pause to simply feel, and observe the little details we often overlook. Remind yourself in that moment that this is your life. It is good. And if you are fully experiencing and remembering those special moments you are doing life right.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

How you think of your morning alarm makes all the difference.

What is your alarm clock to you?

Is it a warning?

A stop sign?

Is it a buzzer telling you that you are out of time?

Is it an annoyance?

A wet blanket? (gross)

Is it a buzzkill? (Or maybe just a Zzzzzkill?)

Is it a shot to the heart? And you’re to blame?

A necessary evil, heavy on the evil?

Is it like the lights flicking on at bar time telling you that you’re getting kicked out? (And revealing that the person in front of you is fugly with the lights on?)

Is it a call to tumble outta bed? And stumble to the kitchen. To pour yourself a cup of ambition. And yawn and stretch. And try to come to life.

The Alternative

Or is your morning alarm an invitation?

Is it the signal of the start of something great?

Is it like the lifeguard’s whistle, inviting you back into the water?

Is it like the opening bell at the stock exchange inviting you to make money and magic?

It is like a train whistle reminding you it’s time to move Engine Engine Number 9 down the New York Transit line?

It is like the national anthem, telling you to stand up straight and proud, reminding you of all you have to be thankful for, flooding you with the feels, and inspiring you to go write the next chapter of your story?

Key Takeaway

Your perspective is everything. Remember that every day is a new opportunity to grow, create, enjoy and improve. Make sure to fill your life with work, play, people, and places that are worth looking forward to each morning. And happily accept that invitation when it comes.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

Why you should think of time as material to make an amazing life.

Earlier this week I got a text from a friend who read my blog post Getting the vaccine = Getting together =Getting back to normal. The text said, ‘It looks like you had an eventful day.’ Indeed, my Wednesday was eventful. All by design. So I responded, ‘I did! I’m trying to create an eventful life!’

Making It Happen.

It is easy to want an eventful life. Or an adventurous life. Or a life worth turning into a book, movie, urban legend, or highway-side historical marker. But the only way to make that happen is to make it happen. Kinda like the only way to invent Facebook is to invent Facebook. #FrickenWinklevosses 

The Material

While fine artists work with materials like paint, pencil, metal, and clay, there is another more valuable material we can all use to create art every day. And it’s right there on your watch, on your calendar, and in the sands rushing through your hourglass. And if you are Mick Jagger, it is right there on your side. (Yes it is.)

Time

Time is the greatest artistic medium of all. You can use time to create memorable moments, minutes and hours. You can create a beautiful day, a wonderful week, or an amazing year. By using your time well you can create your own beautiful, memorable, adventurous, eventful life.

You can use time to build a career, create a community or have a positive impact on all of the nouns around you. #PeoplePlacesAndThings You can build a business, develop relationships, create memories, or write a book. Heck, you can even write a blog post reminding people that they can do all the things they ever wanted to do if they simply use the time they already have.

Key Takeaway

Time is the material beautiful lives are made of. Every day at midnight you get a fresh delivery of 1,440 minutes to work with. Don’t waste them. Instead, make a plan for them. Create all you can with them. Remember, time is the raw material from which all great things are born. What you do with your time is the greatest decision you will ever make. Choose wisely.

Thank you for spending some of your time with me.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

Between the sunrise and sunset lies the real magic.

This week I am on vacation at the beach. I’ve noticed that people at the beach love sunrises and sunsets. Shocker, I know.

Every morning vacationers and locals alike walk the beach at sunrise and take pictures of the sun coming up. The same think happens each night as the sun sets. It’s almost like a song from Fiddler On The Roof

But I notice that no one is taking pictures of the sun in the middle of the day when Earth’s favorite fire ball is in mid arc. But that is where the magic happens.

It is not the beginning or the end that makes the difference. It is the missable middle. When the work is performed. When actions are taken. When time and effort and attention are invested. That’s where the wow of the day lives. It is where the stories of our lives, careers and relationships are formed. Unless you are a lady of the night, or a cat burglar. In which case, I am impressed that you also read blogs. Who knew.

Highlighting the sunrise and sunset is like focusing on the bookends on a bookshelf.  They may be pretty. But they are not the value. The value is on all the pages in the books in between. Be sure not to miss them. They are full of gold.

Key Takeaway

Don’t forget the middle. It is where all the difference is made.

My personal March Madness.

It is 6:27pm on Saturday, March 17, 2018. America is in the heart of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament, better known as March Madness. For most of my life I couldn’t get enough of this tournament. But this year is different.

This Year:

  • I have not seen a moment of live basketball.
  • I have not seen a single bracket, printed, online or on TV.
  • I have no idea which 64 teams are in the tourney. Or are there 66? Or 68?

I had no idea it was even possible to be so oblivious about the tournament a week after Selection Sunday.

But I haven’t had a moment of boredom in the past week. I have been so interested and involved in the other exciting things that basketball wasn’t even a blimp on my radar (I once had a French client misuse this term).

Having enough positive and interesting elements in your life that you have no room for the extraneous is a good sign. And right now, my family, work, friends and curiosities are filling my days in a way that leaves no need for entertainment or distractionRight now, I would rather write this post about my reflections than turn on the TV to catch up on all that I’ve missed. Life is not a spectator sport. Never has this phrase meant more to me than right now.