2015: Experiences. Margin. Creator.

Once again, I am using 2015 to share my “Three Words.” The “Three Words” exercise was introduced to me by Chris Brogan – an age-peer who is a giant beyond his years and perspective. Instead of resolutions, which are easily broken and serve as guilt, Three Words serve as beacons to focus and frame the upcoming year. I’ve been writing my Three Words since 2012 and it has continued in 2013 and 2014. Without further adieu, here is 2015’s version:


Hook 'Her

Hook ‘Her

In a world full of material “things”, I yearn for experiences – not things. To me, it is the difference between cherishing the process versus the outcome. As Rachel’s and my work life provides a bank account to get more “things”, I want to be actively mindful of the important – not of the whimsically desirous. I aspire to amass assets of the mind and soul – not of material goods. I want to engage in experiences that provide laughter, memories and happiness. As a Utilitarian, I never understood the Rolex or Porsche mindset anyway.

So, here’s a conundrum: How do you reconcile material things that create experiences? We recently bought a used boat – yep. A boat is a thing, but it creates a platform for experiences. I’m good with that. We didn’t buy Shad Khan’s boat or even a new boat. We bought a ten year old 18′ boat that allows us to take a few friends out to fish or hang out. I’m pumped up about opportunities for cherishing the moments of shared experiences.

So the litmus test: focus on events and experiences that connect and renew the Soul through laughter and happiness.



Curvy Road

My life sometimes feels like a Ferrari with the gas pedal stuck to the floor on the curviest streets of a road race. While I love the heavy-lifting in life, I also understand the potential for burnout. I’ve successfully been there, done that. Margin is about being mindful to take care of me and create some white space in all facets of life (emotional, physical, financial and time) while taking care of my family, friends and business.

Because I feel like I’ve been bumping up against my limits, I crave margin in my life. Globally, it is a bigger exercise, but in this moment it is a bit of quiet time to refresh my mind, spirit and soul. When you are pumped up about grocery shopping and having an hour of quiet meditation, there’s probably something amiss.

Margin is a great exercise in TPV: time, priorities and value. To achieve this ideal, it means saying, “No” more often to what I can meaningfully take on, execute and feel good about completing. I’m going to need to make sure I re-read Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives again.

The fact that I’m completing this post on January 14, 2015 (as opposed to January 1) is a clear indicator to me that I need to be more mindful of margin in my life.



What will your verse be?

To me, there are two mindsets in life: you are either a Consumer or a Creator.

Consumers are passive. They thoughtlessly whittle away their days eating bon bons on the couch and consuming hours upon hours of television, movies and People magazine. They watch continuous re-runs of SportsCenter. And, then, they wonder why life is passing them by: they’ve been passed over for promotions, life is “boring” and they’re less interesting because they’re talking about other people instead of ideas – their own ideas.

Creators actively seek out opportunities to learn, build perspective, think, grow, invest, connect – all with the idea of creating something new, better, more interesting. They seize ownership of their inputs. They’re reading, listening, connecting and networking in the spirit of unlocking their human potential. They are consumers with an intentional plan to do something greater as a result of the experience.

Now, I’m not saying that Creators don’t relax and enjoy televisions, movies or People magazine. No, they do – and they should. But their goal is to give their mind a break, enjoy fellowship and reenergize – not as a passive way of everyday life.

The central difference between Creators and Consumers: intent. What are your intentions with your efforts and activities? Is the aim something greater than the activity itself?

As part of being a Creator this year, I want to be sure that I am investing in myself in the right areas: reading, meeting, engaging, and asking questions. Hallmarks of success for this area: limiting mindless time-wasting of social media, replacing that time with progress on a book I want to write and actively creating a lunch event surrounding “A Great Question.”

Random Quote

“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”

— Goethe

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