What a lovely home, probably somewhere out in the country. From the crops on left, this must be a farm. From the swing set, they probably have kids (or grandkids). The house seems to be fairly modern (look at the windows) and well maintained. The horses look healthy.
What’s the story about this house and family? Are they ‘weekend’ farmers who commute to jobs during the week? Does one of them, or both, work from home? Are they full-time farmers, with the land being the main source of income? Hard to know.
But what’s missing? Look at the photo; what’s missing?
See any cars or trucks? Maybe the people are not at home – they’re at the store or work or a kid’s soccer game. Look closer. Do you see any power lines going to the house? Hum… Maybe the power lines are buried. That could be, but given the size of this house and probable acreage, I kind of doubt it.
This is an Amish house in Lancaster County, PA.
What if we look at what’s missing instead of just what’s there?
What if we ask why something we’d normally expect to be there isn’t?
What are we assuming is in the picture because it usually is?
What if folks are just fine with not having what’s missing?
What if they didn’t know they could even have what’s missing?
What will we discover if we start looking at what’s Not There?
When you meet someone at a party, an event, in the store, at a school, what do we usually ask? “What do you do?” or if you’re in college, “What’s your major?”
There are many ways in which others define us and we define ourselves:
· Job, title, level;
· Mom, Dad;
· Daughter, son, sibling;
· Aunt, Uncle.
· College, university, and major or degree;
· Home town, city, country;
· Political leaning;
· Causes, volunteer efforts;
· Board roles;
· Combinations and integrations of the above;
· None of the above – something else.
How do you really want to be identified? To be known? You may answer differently depending on where you are in your life and what matters. That’s normal. But when you strip away all your functions and roles, at a very fundamental, who are you? What do you want to be known for? And why?
Do you say, "Can you tape that show for me" when you'll be out missing a TV show or "Will you roll up the window?" when you're in the car? When your friend keeps repeating himself over and over do you tell him he "sounds like a broken record"? How often do you "hang up" the phone, "dial" a number or "ring" someone up? Think about it - 25% of the USA population doesn't know what it means to dial a phone let alone hang one up! Many of our idioms and phrases are tied to outdated technology and behaviors, and while some are still widely used (e.g., Stereotype, Pipe Dream (ha!)), the younger generation has no clue what they mean. They are obsolete, meaningless.
I wonder - if some of our language is becoming obsolete, are we as well? We can rue the loss of life as we knew it or we embrace the future. Every generation has dealt with this, but today is different. Today, we live longer. Our children (and some of us) have multiple careers, tweet, snap, text, google without hesitation while we 'flip through the channels." It's a choice. We can choose to become outdated or to be relevant. What will you choose?
Also published on Medium ~ Finding Blue Lobsters
After ten weeks in this city, I have a lot to reflect and think about on my last day before I embark on my next journey. This post has no clear theme other than what’s been going on my head. Thoughts about New York, about being lost, about feeling useless, about feeling useful, about adventures, about learning, about healing, about loving, about everything and about nothing. Hope you enjoy the thought ramble :) ...."
Oh wow! A problem.... let's go solve it! It's our first reaction, right? It's human. We see a problem and our instinct is to start fixing it, solving it.
What if, instead of rushing to solve it, we rushed to discover as much as we could about the problem - like, why is it a problem, why is that a problem, why, why, why? What are people doing when this is a problem? Is it only a problem when they are doing that? Where is it a problem? Only there? When is it a problem? Only then? What is the weather when it's a problem? What mood were they in when it was a problem? See? You learn so much when you Rush to Discover first. You learn what really matters and why. And guess what? Then you can work with the people who have this problem together - to create solution(s) that will really make a difference - that will work when, how, where it's a problem.
So, next time you see a problem, stop, discover and learn....
Yup, I said it and mean the double entendre.
What company doesn’t say people are their greatest asset? How many companies really treat their employees like assets? Not as many, and less than we’d like to think. Too many companies still treat employees like Asses –beasts of burden, tools for labor. And then, managers* get surprised (duh!) when employees act like asses – non-caring beasts of burden and seemingly stupid, stubborn people.
How employees act and engage all depends on T – on how you Treat them. Remember the golden rule? Guess what, it’s a rule, not an exception. Try Treating everyone you encounter this week, especially your employees, as an asset. You might see some Asses become Assets (even you?).
* Not leaders, cuz real leaders don’t treat their employees like asses.