Enlightened Conflict

how beautiful it is to let things go

September 22nd, 2016



“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.”




(via ginger-and-preppy)





“You can’t be who you’re going to be and who you used to be at the same time …”



TD Jakes





Today is the first day of Fall.


first day of fall 2016 google

……………………………. first day of fall 2016 google ……………….



It is kind of a reminder to everyone that everything is temporary.


On another note.

I do also sometimes find it slightly strange that death and dying can contain so much beauty.





I kind of find it nice that Life, in the form of seasons, forces us to let go of things. And while we even go kicking and screaming with regard to seasons Life ignores us … moves on … lets go of the last season … offers us a new season … and once we get over it … we are once again shown how beautiful it can be to let shit go.


I kind of find it nice that Life, in the form of seasons, forces us to distinguish what often looks the same from one day to the next. as we keep our heads down to the Life grindstone and each day dawns without any major incident, other than  the same aggravating everyday incidents which inevitably occur, Life ignores our obliviousness … moves on … let’s go of another season … offers a new season … and we get over the fact we actually have to lift our heads up and pay attention for a little but … we are once again shown how beautiful it is to let some shit go.



“Between the end of that strange summer and the approach of winter, my life went on without change. Each day would dawn without incident and end as it had begun. It rained a lot in September. October had several warm, sweaty days. Aside from the weather, there was hardly anything to distinguish one day from the next.”

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle



I kind of find it nice that Life, in the form of seasons, forces us to think a little bit about who we want to be … who we are … and provides some real life aspects to show us how difficult it is to be who you used to be and who you are going to be at the exact same time.




letters to myself note to future selfI am not a huge Fall person. I am more of a spring person. Heck. I have even suggested we move New Year’s Day to the 1st day of spring  because I think it would make new year’s less depressing and more hopeful.


But I admit that Fall, even more so than Spring, forces us to face our feelings, thoughts, doubts, dreams and fears with a fairly discerning eye. An eye that views ‘what could be’ with a little more sense of urgency.




Falling leaves can do that to you.


Better seems a little bit harder.


Better seems to have more of a deadline.


I think we all seek a great perhaps of “what I know can be”.

I think we all know what a better world really looks like.

I think we all want to see the beauty that can be found in what is better in everyone.


And maybe it is within Fall and the falling leaves we better grasp that failed plans and failed dreams can beget new plans and new dreams.


Maybe it is within Fall that we are able to see that new realities can lead to needed life changes.


Maybe it is Fall that reminds us even in times of ‘things slipping away’ you can still find abundance.


Maybe it is Fall that reminds us that Life is a healthy mix of duality … life & death and the ebb & flow of growth and regress.


Maybe Fall reminds those who have a view that a happy and fulfilling life should consist only of highs <or maybe better said … a significantly higher % of highs than lows> and that a positive life should consist only of certainty <shelving fear and doubt to be successful> that happiness & fulfillment also embraces the ebbs in seasons as well as the flows of seasons. autumn-second-spring


Maybe Fall reminds us that no matter how you plan your day, year, or life, it will have times of … the best, the worst, wisdom, foolishness, belief, incredulity, light, darkness, hope, despair, everything and nothing.


Maybe Fall simply reminds us that time goes on, things come & go and we always have an opportunity to begin again … arise anew after the Fall as it were.


Maybe Fall exists just to remind us to think a little.

thinking you have a chance (but you don’t)

October 23rd, 2015

ignorance closed mind


“There’s nothing worse in the world than thinking you have a chance when you really don’t.”

Meredith Grey








This is mostly about business <but certainly offers some Life thoughts>.


2014 scared lose




I do believe if you ‘play’ … you play to win.






I also realize that sometimes in Life, and in business, we play … and play knowing we don’t have a chance in hell of winning.





Someone will point out the times where someone was given no chance … and they won.



I will then point out that it is just like the ‘poor to rich’ examples … they are exceptions.


The majority of time if you have no chance … you really do not.





For some reason when someone starts talking about ‘no chance’ the phrase “playing to win or playing not to lose” rears its ugly head.



And while it sounds good to say “you’re playing to win” in your business, what exactly does that really mean?



We can dance on the head of this pin all day long if you are not careful … some life whispers listen closelysuggest playing to win means playing all out … as in … going for it all and holding nothing back.


Others suggest that playing not to lose means holding something back … at its worst ‘being conservative’ and at its most prudent ‘making sure if you don’t win you have something left’ <or minimize losses>.



First of all.



Every good business person does both.


Playing to win isn’t always about resources … it’s about effort & attitude.


I can hold reserves back and tell the ones attacking to ‘go for broke’ and they actually play harder because they know there are reserves if they falter.


Technically that puts you in the ‘playing not to lose’ category … and technically that is shit.






This is where ‘no chance’ comes into play.



There may be nothing worse in business than thinking you have a chance when you don’t have an ice cube’s chance in hell.



For at the conclusion, for the leader, it makes you second guess whether you are a good judge of ‘chance’ or if you are a shitty leader it makes you second guess your people <”are they good enough? … because we sure as hell had a chance”.

This can suck the life out of a manager.



For at the conclusion, for the worker people, who tend to be thinking in general on most projects and initiatives “why the hell are we doing this because it has no chance of working” anyway … it simply becomes confirmation that most initiatives have no chance.

This can suck the life out of an organization.






Thinking you have a chance is normal. In fact … it is so natural to think it you almost have to convince yourself that there is no chance. Society, and crappy managers, are constantly seeking ways to convince you that the latter is simply signs of pessimism or lack of ‘positive thinking.’

In addition … we all ache to not be mediocre and for some reason ‘not having a chance’ is directly linked to ‘not good enough’ and can very quickly, and very stealthily, slip into thoughts of mediocrity.





That is shit too.



No chance is … well … no chance. It doesn’t necessarily mean not good enough nor does it have to suggest mediocrity.



Simply … no chance is no chance.



In fact … I would suggest a sliver of a chance is still no chance.



Note: this always reminds me of Dumb & Dumber:






Lloyd Christmas: What do you think the chances are of a guy like you and a girl like me … ending up together?

Mary Swanson: Well, Lloyd, that’s difficult to say. I mean, we don’t really …

Lloyd Christmas: Hit me with it! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you, Mary. The least you can do is level with me.

What are my chances?

Mary Swanson: Not good.

Lloyd Christmas: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?telling me i have a chance

Mary Swanson: I’d say more like one out of a million.


Lloyd Christmas: So you’re telling me there’s a chance… YEAH!






Yeah, yeah, yeah … people are gonna come out of the woodwork to point out the times the sliver of a chance became reality.






Life, and in particular, business Life is about making choices on where to invest energy. Investing energy in ‘no chance’ situations and initiatives are a drain … individually & organizationally.



In addition … those incredibly rare ‘no chance wins’ take on a Life of their own which most leaders and managers mismanage by encouraging overall belief rather than encouraging ‘we beat the odds which is an exception <which creates exceptional moments>’.
Managers need to teach & coach employees to honestly assess chance.




Managers need to get better at ‘not thinking there is a chance’ assessment.


And businesses, in general, just need to admit they have no chance when they literally have no chance.



I am certainly not suggesting this is easy.


Having been in dozens of painful business meetings where everyone fights to NOT admit we don’t have a chance because … well … it absolutely sucks to have no chance let alone admit you have no chance. While I noted earlier it is bullshit to associate this thinking with mediocrity … we all inevitably dance with this ugly feeling at some point in this discussion.



But what sucks more? Thinking you actually have a chance when you do not.



In the end I believe what I am suggesting is that a successful life, personally and in business, incorporates some pragmatism.


And I say that as an unequivocal “hope” guy.





Hoping you have a chance is significantly different than thinking you have a chance.

And maybe it is within that distinction that most of us just … well … suck at suck thistooshallsuckthinking.




But we should all take solace that even in our suckedness there is good … it is good that everyone hopes they have a chance and it is good that all of us dance on the thought of having a chance. It is a beautiful heartening uplifting soul sweeping dance which all of us should learn the steps to.


We should just know when to leave the dance floor.

Enlightened Conflict