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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Slow Down

How to slow down your life...right now...just as soon as I see what my Starbucks name is...
In what is definitely solid proof that the Internet (and Starbucks for that matter) is a place of endless possibilities, some brilliant dude or dudette has created a name generator that simulates the experience of having your name name misspelled on a Starbucks drink cup. Here's mine:

And, for kicks, one for my media pal, Stephanie:

Now that we have that squared away, and we are enjoying some java forms, have you ever thought of other ways to embrace the moment? Yeah, I know I am sounding like some seventies guru in a tunic, but the last episodes of Mad Men have me looking in the mirror. I mean after Megan went nuclear on Don with her "aging, sloppy, selfish" rant, I've been itching to write my own $1 million check. But how? Perhaps living in the now is the key. Let me give you an example...

It's finally Friday night, the beginning of a weekend of freedom, which also happens to include your birthday. Your family, friends and spouse all have celebratory plans for you.

You have a rewarding career and a network of beautiful people who want to rejoice in your life. As you walk out to your car to officially kickoff the fun, a giddy thrill washes over you.

Live in the now and you might avoid this look! photo: Justina Mintz/AMC
But as you click the seatbelt into place, rather than sitting in awe of how lucky you are, a list of concerns begin worming their way into your consciousness: “I need gas, but the conveniently located gas station charges more than others … I hope it’s not a surprise party … Maybe I should get the beverages I like before going home … I haven’t been to the gym all  week … Did I pay the electric bill?”

And so it goes.

“I think we’ve all had this experience, which often has us psychically living 30 minutes into the future – no matter how great the present circumstances might be,” says Steve Gilliland, a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame and author of the widely acclaimed “Enjoy The Ride,” for which he is set to publish a follow-up ("Detour, Developing the Mindset to Navigate Life’s Turns”) that will be released in May 2015.

“Are we doomed to this torrent of noise which distracts us from enjoying our life? We don’t have to be.”

Don’t live your life 30 minutes ahead of the present. If you won’t live your life now, in the present, then who will?

An older man came up to me, grabbed my hand, and said he wished he’d heard me speak decades ago,” Gilliland says. “After I asked why, he said that when he was eating lunch on break or dinner with his family, he was always thinking about what he had to do after the meal, which represented his daily life. ‘At the age of 97,’ he said, ‘I’ve officially lived my life 30 minutes ahead’ – 30 minutes ahead of whatever he was doing at the moment.”
  • Live more! It’s better than crying before you’re hurt. Don’t put your umbrella up until it rains. Worry restricts your ability to think and act effectively, and it forces you to mortgage fear and anxiety about something that may never occur. Laughter is the opposite. When you laugh, you’re living almost completely in the moment and it’s one of the best feelings you can have.
  • No one can ruin your day without your permission. As much as we cannot control in life – our genes, our past and what has led up to today – there is much control we may take upon ourselves. Today, for example, we can understand that life picks on everyone, so when the going gets tough, we don’t have to take it personally. When we do take misfortune personally, we tend to obsess, giving a legacy to something that may make you a day poorer in life.
  • Cure your destination disease. Live more for today, less for tomorrow, and never about yesterday. How? You might have to repeatedly remind yourself that yesterday is gone forever, yet we perpetually have to deal with now, so why not live it? And what if tomorrow never occurs? There is a difference between working toward the future, which is inherently enjoyable in light of hope, and living in an unrealistic future that remains perpetually elusive. If tomorrow never comes, would you be satisfied with the way today ended?
“It is not how you start in life and it is not how you finish,” Gilliland says. “The true joy of life is in the trip, so enjoy the ride!”



A new feature that I am adding is the "Ad of the Week" (or month or whatever) that highlights some of the best work in the world. 

Most of you have seen the iconic Pulp Fiction scene where Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) has a flashback. The scene shows the time when his deceased father's fellow POW Christopher Walken brings Butch his father's watch. You know the watch that was smuggled in with some, er, uh delicate and dedicated hiding. This one is actually a parody of the Apple Watch commercials narrated by Walken. Enjoy.