Window of opportunity …

The old adage says “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Opportunities are no different.

People, places and even things often seem nothing as they really are. From the surface they say “walk on by.”

But what lies behind that window … you’ll never know – unless you look inside.

________________________________________________________

Window of opportunity
Image by Brody

________________________________________________________

I can be found on Twitter at @clayforsberg and Google+ at Clay Forsberg

Advertisements

Are your fields clear?

Spring has arrived.

Have you cleared your fields?

Are they ready to plant?

Have you cleared your mind?

Is it ready for new ideas – new inspiration?

A mind … like a field, needs care and rejuvenation to grow.

Is your mind clear. Is it ready to grow?

________________________________________________________

Clean fields
Image by Brody

________________________________________________________

I can be found on Twitter at @clayforsberg and Google+ at Clay Forsberg

Stairway to Nowhere

Where are you going?

Where is your life taking you?

Are you climbing a stairway,

a stairway to nowhere?

It’s never too late to climb back down …

and climb a stairway to somewhere.

_________________________________________________________

???????????????????
Image by L. Sean Key

_________________________________________________________

I can be found on Twitter at @clayforsberg and Google+ at Clay Forsberg

Fences …

_______________________________________________

Fence
Image by Brody

_______________________

In the United States in the 1800’s, the term “free-range” was commonplace. Traditional American usage equates “free-range” with “unfenced,” and with the implication that there was no herdsman keeping livestock together or managing them in any way.

 With the proliferation of fencing and the desire to keep poachers at bay, “free-range” quickly became a thing of the past. As of 2013, only Oklahoma practices this age-old tradition. But not only livestock has become “fenced in.”

Have you constructed a life constrained by limitations and the restrictions of others – constrained by fences?

 Or are you living “free-range” … on your own terms, free of a herdsman?

_______________________________________________
.
I can be found on Twitter at @clayforsberg.
.

Kids, Boxes and Zolos

If you have or have ever had children, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s Christmas morning, your little ones are up and ripping into their presents. They’re happy as clams with your well-thought-out purchases. But then it happens. Their attention wanes … and then re-focuses – but not on the toys. It’s the boxes, the boxes the toys came in.

“I’m a failure! I can’t even buy a Christmas present my kid cares more about more than a stupid box. I should just turn in my parenting card right now. It’s only going to get worse.”

We’ve all been through it. What is it about boxes? If it’s not your kids then it’s the cat.

They are a never-ending sources of intrigue and glee. They hold a world of possibilities where the only barriers are the imagination. They can be colored or drawn on. Boxes can be cut up to be smaller, or combined with other boxes to be larger. Boxes can be anything.

They don’t have boundaries until we teach them boundaries. Everything is “game.” They haven’t limited their lives by putting them in boxes. But rather they use those boxes (literally) to create a world limited only by their imagination

Kids haven’t been anesthetized by all the years of “this is what you’re suppose to do and this is how you’re suppose to do it.”

They’re not restricted by rows in a spreadsheet or by myopic expectations of family and friends.

Don’t you wish you could go back to that time … the time when it was just you, your imagination and whatever inanimate object was at your disposal (and maybe the cat, if you could catch him). Restrictions were few. I remember playing in the backyard. A patch of dirt could be turned into a gold mine, a tropical island – or a with the help of few sticks, even a futuristic skyscraper.

We don’t do that now. We have to be adults. And being an adult seems to include checking your imagination at the door. And we wonder why life becomes, well … lifeless. Worse yet, what example are we setting for our children. What are we teaching them. “When you get my age, all that curiosity and naive optimism you have now – will just fade away. But that’s all right because you’ll slave for years and years in school to become a doctor or a lawyer only to become a slave all over again to your ‘keeping up with Jones’ lifestyle you feel you have to have.”

Photo1

Back in my headhunting days, I once sent a box of crayons to 150 of my best candidates. The assignment was to color their “Perfect World.” The response was positive. Most loved it and some even included their families in the exercise. A couple of people didn’t quite get the point though. “How can I expect you to handle my career if you won’t take any more seriously than a box a crayons!” Obviously their imagination had long ago left the dock.

My go-to Christmas present over the years has been Zolos. Zolos are toy construction sets where you can make bizarre creatures. There’s no instructions, just odd different pieces. No Zolo will turn out the same. For better or worse, I don’t think my ship of “adolescent imagination” has sailed yet … and hopefully won’t anytime soon. And I’m going to do my damnedest to keep my friends’ ships mored as well.

Your children look to you for guidance. And that guidance isn’t limited to just what you necessarily want them to learn. They may listen to what you say … but what they really absorb is what you do.

What are you showing them their life will be like? Are you putting out their flame of curiosity without even knowing it.

Show them you can never be too old to … (fill in the blank)!

_________________________________

You can find me on Twitter at @clayforsberg

_________________________________

Related Posts:

Yea … but I think I’m fine!

“It must hard for everyone to think you’re crazy … and you think you’re fine.” ~ Jennifer Lawrence, talking about her character, Tiffany, in the movie Silver Linings Playbook

With the tragedies of Newtown and Aurora, the topic of metal illness’s role in gun violence has reared its misunderstood head. In their efforts to divert attention away from the growing tide for gun control, the NRA and its brethren have placed the blame of the shootings on the issue of mental instability. Unfortunately, this dialogue will probably gain momentum. One can only imagine with it will come a universal database containing a “black or white”  declaration on whether each of us is “crazy.

What if we go down this “rabbit hole” of obsessive societal security (at the sacrifice of our civil rights) … who will sit on the throne wheeling the power to declare which of us will receive the Scarlett Letter. Will it be the less-than-qualified school counselors? We have to get to the “crazies” before they inflict too much damage on our perfect little world of conformity. Or maybe it will be the “clowns of the beltway” in Congress. God I hope not! Most of them ARE legitimately certifiable.

Mental illness?

And even if we do find a credible pervaiour of judgement – what criteria are we to be judged on. Would the 6th grade boy next door, who’s labeled ADHD (because an inept teacher couldn’t engage him) be considered mentally ill … be considered “crazy.”

What about the woman across the street who attempted suicide ten years ago, but now suffers from nothing but the ostracism of her neighbors in her small town … the ostracism that relegates her to virtually no personal contact outside her home, except only with those new to town. Those who don’t know her past. Is she “crazy.

What about the truck driver who was injured on the job and then over-prescribed Oxycontin for an acute condition that due a doctor’s negligence turned into a chronic morphine addiction … an addiction that has led him to smoke Marijuana in attempt to break his daily spiral into Dante’s Hell.

Would it be me, who has taken anything but the conventional path down my road of life. This is a life that has included homelessness amongst other bouts with non-conformity. Many, both family and friends (former friends I should say) still can’t look past the “off base” label they’ve attached to me. No matter my accomplishments – past and present, it’s that label they can’t see past.

Or what if you just choose to take the “road less traveled,” a road not dictated by materialistic consumption – but rather one of concern for others and the environment we all inhabit. To many that makes you look “crazy.” Or worse yet, what if you’re an atheist or have sexual preferences detested by many fundamentalist religions, religions increasingly gaining influence in our government.

What would that mean to all of us … us designated as “crazy.” Of course we will be prohibited from owning a gun. But what’s next … voting rights or maybe driving privileges. Pick your punishment – the punishment for you being “crazy.”

Now this all sounds absurd. But throughout history (the United States included) some pretty absurd decisions have been made. For example, with the support of both political parties – our government currently is hell-bent on stripping as many personal freedoms and constitutional rights they can write up and get to the floor. What’s saying a “crazy” data base isn’t next.

The line between normal and crazy isn’t as clear as we often assume. And being judgmental often short-circuits both understanding and ultimately enlightenment.

Throughout history the majority of those who have truly made an impact on society were outliers, considered “crazy” by the normal masses.

Neither people nor life is “black or white.” We all have colors, hues and tones … often changing from day-to-day, from year to year. Pigeonholing someone may make it easier for you. It may make easier for you not to think, to fall back on your ideologies. But just make sure you realize your cerebral laziness, your intellectual apathy, hurts not only the ones you label – but also yourself.

In mid January, the movie Silver Linings Playbook comes out on wide release. Starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro; the movie depicts a cast filled with dysfunction and various types of “less-than-normal” mental stability. But what it really shows is the humanity behind being different, if not unbalanced. The look it gives into these characters, might very well hit home. You probably know people like these people. Who knows you may even see some of yourself in them.

Regardless: Do they, or you … deserve the Scarlett Letter?

_________________________________

_________________________________

You can find me on Twitter at @clayforsberg or on Google+

_________________________________

Related Posts:

One World …

On this day … Earth Day,

may will be reminded that we are “One.”

We are “One” … one life, one love –

and “One World.”

Without all of us working together,

we are nothing but parts …

parts wandering endlessly looking to be “One.”

___________________________________

___________________________________

I can be found on Twitter at @clayforsberg

___________________________________