Passion + Focus

Do you have what it takes to work less?

There’s a great story that almost sounds like a fable: a man decides to work less and his life improves. The End. While we’re left with more questions than answers, the tall tale continues through time, giving working people everywhere just an ounce of hope that someday work life will be better.

Well, fable this. There’s a real man named Josh Epperson who succeeded at what seems impossible: he worked fewer hours, his productivity increased, and his happiness soared. WTH? It’s a story worth reading in the Atlantic.

Are you willing to give Epperson’s experiment a try? Tell us all about it, please – inquiring minds!

To Gift or Regift

That is the question.

Regardless whether you’re on the appalled or clever end of the spectrum, re-gifting is here to stay. Let’s forget about re-gifts you may have received, and focus on gifts you do receive and care to pass on. Here are some solid suggestions to follow:

  1. Re-gift a gift that’s appropriate for the recipient. A tennis racket to someone who doesn’t play tennis does not scream “you should try a new sport,” but rather says “I got this racket and now it’s yours.”
  2. Re-gift the item to someone in a completely separate circle of friends and family. Think about it.
  3. Re-gift new items only. If you have to search your closet for something to give someone, I assure you, they’d rather not have anything. Not everyone expects a gift, especially the older we get. That said, used gifts can be appropriate if they are family heirlooms and come with history and a good story. A broken display plate is never a good story unless your uncle used it as a shield in the Revolutionary War.
  4. Care. Sounds easy enough, but the physical gift is rarely what people remember. What people want to know is that they are loved, and that your thoughtfulness and kindness behind the gesture can be felt that way. So regardless the gift, take the time to write a sincere card with only positive statements. The latter can be tough, so practice it. It’s important. Nothing negative.

While there are other tips to consider, these 4 should keep you off the gossip list as a dreaded Re-Gifter.

However, let it be known that there is another viable strategy: to be renowned as The Re-Gifter. Do it. Own it. Keep that strategy going like a hot potato and you might be crowned King Re-Gifter, a title one can be proud of.

However you approach it, I say go full re-gift and simply be honest and consistent. Don’t be surprised, though, if the gifts stop coming. This can be both a blessing and a curse. Consider it a blessing, less toil on the the re-gifting.

Carry on, good humans!

November 2023

… More

The Power of Empathy

And yep, it can be learned.

It has become pretty clear to me these past few years that as humans, we have an epic amount of room for improvement. With an uncertain future lying ahead of all of us, what should we do? What can we do?

Knowing What Matters

Well, the University of Maryland is not only acknowledging the current challenges, but guiding students in the direction to help humanity. It’s not about how many Pottery Barn candle holders you have, or even what kind of car you drive. Today? Today, what matters is so much more than what fits in your cart. Natural disasters, global conflicts, a human pandemic – the last few years have been a coffee grinder experience that is impacting human behavior.

Mind the Gap

Remember Maslow’s need hierarchy? If you have a foundation of security, safety, love, and support, etc, your path forward leads to the supposed nirvana of self actualization. The stinger of his theory is that it’s linear and 2-dimensional. We’re not rulers. His thoughts on human development and behavior may be right, but he neglected to include the sub-foundation of opportunity, resources, and education required to even get on this tour.

Change the World, Really?

So when the University of Maryland (UMD) decided to double down on its mission to change the world with the addition of a broader Do Good mission, I was intrigued by their unique over-arching approach. I see UMD students, faculty and staff who are passionate, inspired, motivated, jazzed. Who are these people?

With forward thinking and problem solving leadership, UMD is leaning in for humanity and humanity is responding. Love breeds love. I could not be more proud of the collective force at UMD who are determined to help students be better humans. We all know it takes a village of unsung heroes, with a thoughtful leader like this guy.

Joy Found

There’s joy in learning about students like Marie, who started simply by opening her eyes and giving a shit. Read for yourself what else UMD students are bravely doing! May it give you a shred of hope for our collective future together. Here’s to more joy!