Margin + Well-Being

Sweat the Details

Photo by    Cameron Clark

Photo by Cameron Clark


The best snorkeling experience I’ve ever had was off a coast in the central Philippines. Most of the memory has blurred together: warm sun, salty air, the sound of my friends' laughter echoing off the boat. What I remember vividly, with photographic precision, are the neon blue and purple starfish below the waves. Colors that seem like they couldn’t possibly exist in nature, yet they do.

If design didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, snowflakes would be ugly. Leaves wouldn’t turn red and gold in the Fall. Spring would arrive unannounced by bright yellow daffodils. And a world underwater that we rarely experience in the day-to-day would be bland and colorless.

People have a right to live fully, not just merely. Good design adds to the fullness of life. The fullness, ironically, allows for margin. Margin empowers people to dream big, enabling them to do things that change the world.

Sweat the details. The details go beyond ourselves.
 


Originally published October 2014

Why New Year's Resolutions Are Worth Setting


I love it when a year changes over to the next. I especially love New Year's Eve and New Year's Day because people all over the world embrace the concept of a clean slate and a fresh start. They are international days of optimism and the energy is contagious.

New year's resolutions get a bad rap. Some people claim that they never keep them so they just give up on setting them. Other people claim that resolutions are an example of not being content with who we are or failing to embrace our flaws. I find, though, that wanting to change and be better stems not from a lack of self-esteem, but rather a desire to use some of the untapped potential that we know exists in us.

This is healthy. If I am the same exact person I was a year ago it means that I've gone twelve months without learning anything:

  • Nothing from books.

  • Nothing from conversations with friends and colleagues.

  • Nothing from a thoughtfully made TV program or movie.

  • Nothing from a joyful (or difficult) experience.

This results in a boring life. Our one over-arching resolution should always be to be a better person by this time next year.

You can't outsource potential and the thing about your potential is that you're the only one who can reach it. Success changes the dynamics of relationships more often than failure does and I'm convinced that we usually self-sabotage out of a fear of success rather than a fear of failure.

As the old saying goes, "People stay in hell because the street signs are familiar." Don't waste your potential just because the people around you may be wasting theirs. Change and growth are hard work, but worth it.


Originally published January 2012

Measure What Matters

Years ago I took yoga classes led by a granola-chic woman in her fifties with long grey hair.

On the first day a man asked, "What measurable outcomes and milestones can we expect from this?"

The instructor replied, "Ohhhhh, you definitely need yoga."

This wisdom seems apropos as we wrap up one year and head into another. Measure what matters. Learn to let go of the rest.


Originally published January 2015