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Archive for the ‘Uncommon Living’ Category

Eliminate the Noise (or What Happens When I Walk)

March 25th, 2010

One of my (almost) daily habits is taking a walk.  I do this both as physical exercise and as mediation time.  Walking allows me to clear my head and ideas and solutions appear as if by magic.

People often ask me what I listen to when I walk. The short answer is I don’t listen to anything. In fact, to allow walking to work is special ju-ju on me, I have some particular practices that observe that I thought I would share.

1. I don’t listen to music or anything that puts speakers in my ears.

2. I usually don’t walk with a friend.

3. I walk outdoors as often as I can.

Because I don’t drown my senses in noise or distraction, I find that I

a) I pay attention to details.

b) I am fully present with my body and with my environment.

c)  I have a  keener power of internal observation.

d) I actually see things – the person walking down the street, the tree on the corner that’s just started to leaf out, the color of that car that would look great in one of my next blog designs. And if I am lucky, I get the hear the bells from the church in my neighborhood.

And, at least to me, I am a better person because I don’t shut out the world around me.

So my challenge to you is this: the next time you start to turn on your ipod to shut out what is going on around you, don’t. I’ll be curious to know how that unfolds for you. 🙂

SXSW Series: What Can We Learn From Mega Churches

March 18th, 2010

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my SXSWi experience. My very favorite part was meeting, connecting and hanging out with people who matter a lot to me. We are separated by distance – and some of them I’d never even seen in real life. So walking around, sharing meals, going with “flow”, laughing and talking while in their company was a total charge. I wouldn’t trade that time for anything.

Interestingly, though, while all this great relationship building stuff was happening, I was also engaged in a  persistent and consistent back channel conversation with LOTS of different people over and over again. At this huge, career changing event, there seemed to be a great disconnect between the fact that people were there to meet and engage with like-minded people and the opportunities to actually DO that.

There are twelve THOUSAND people at sxswi and very few formal  gatherings or gathering spots designed to facilitate the kind of connection and conversation that I heard people craving. If you are lucky enough to know people and get invited to the small, private parties, things are a little easier, but what about the majority of people who are not so well connected?

How do we integrate, meet, connect, converse and engage with others who are like minded, interested in the same things and then develop real relationships?

Chris Brogan wrote a spot on post ( of course) on his observations while he was in Austin. You can read it here. His quote…”Know what I saw more than anything else when I really took a moment to look around? Lonely people.” was spot on. I saw them everywhere too – yearning to connect, not wanting what the huge Super Parties had to offer and with no platform to empower them to do anything about it.

I thought about this… a lot. In fact, in one of my nap-induced fugue states, I began thinking about the challenges of navigating and engaging at a mega-event and how similar they are in many ways to navigating and engaging at a mega-church (think Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in California). 

[And so you know how that connection was made in my sleepy brain, I had a conversation with the effervescent Rochelle Veturis the night before and she talked about her church, which happens to be Saddleback. See? I’m not as crazy as you think. Well, maybe I am but that is the subject of another post. ]

At any rate, here’s where my dreamy thoughts led me:

The challenges of a Mega Event and a Mega Church are actually quite similar.

Number 1:  A LOT of people are attracted to “the big idea” found in a single physical location.

Number 2:  A wide demographic of age, interests, personalities and desires are present in the audience.

Number 3:  The sheer logistics of helping thousands and thousands of diverse people get “fed” through relevant ideas, relevant conversations and relevant relationships is staggering.

I am certainly not saying that the entire burden of solving these challenges rests at the feet of the mega-event organizers. In fact, I would say that much of that weight must be carried by others who are willing to step in and fill this very real need.

Here are just a few ways that mega churches rise to the challenge and I believe there are lessons we can learn and apply as we find ways to put meaningful engagement high on the list of what actually happens at a mega event.

1) Very small (say eight to 10 people) groups gather around a core commonality – young singles, married no kids, married with kids, single again, etc.  This small group is where the most meaningful relationships are fostered. It becomes “home base”.

How this can be applied at a mega-event:

Volunteer leaders can pre-arrange dates, times and locations for non-star-power driven small group conversations. Of course keeping it to eight to ten people wouldn’t be possible but keeping it small and intimate could be. What would REALLY be awesome is if the rockstars took the time to participate in these small group conversations as actual participants. No fanfare, no entourage,  no big announcement. Just show up and contribute.

2) Hundreds of larger (say 75-100 people) groups gathered around a particular interest or topic, ie book discussion group, dad’s basketball group, professional women’s group, etc. An individual won’t connect with every single person in that room but they are incredibly likely to connect with three, four or five people in a meaningful way.

How this can be applied at a mega event:

Have “continuing the conversation” rooms set aside that have designated conversation themes. For example, at SXSWi, the themes might be “Getting heard in the crowded lifestyle space” or “How can the artists blogger actually get paid?” or “What wordpress plugins do you actually use?” – you get the idea. No facilitator or leader is present but when I walk into that room there are people there I can talk to.

Or

Have break out session after certain panels. Panels are not conversations. There are opportunities to ask questions of course but Q & A’s and conversation are very very different.

3) Offline and online channels connect members of the audience.

How this can be applied at a mega event:

Set up a site (official or otherwise) that allows  mini-groups to form prior to the event. These mini-groups can be based on geography, special interests or any other demographic so people have a chance to find their tribe and arrange to connect in real life once they arrive at the event.

Those are the three dream-state produced ideas that took hold in my napping brain. Are they perfect? No. Are there more, better ideas? Yes!

The trick is, I have to stop dreaming, talking and thinking about them and start putting feet under them. I may not have star power, but I have desire and I have the ability to fill some of that hunger for engagement I saw in Austin. Anyone with me?

As always, please make this post infinitly better by sharing your thoughts and ideas. That is always my favorite part. 🙂

Resonance

March 9th, 2010

It’s a term we hear all the the time.

“I resonate with that.”

“What he said really resonated with me.”

“She writes in a way that resonates with me.”

We all have a general idea of what the word means – something along the lines of “that really speaks to my heart”, right?

Today though I want to dig in a little deeper into where the word originated and tell you an amazing story about how I saw the word demonstrated live. 🙂

So first, a definition:

Resonate:

v.intr.





1. To exhibit or produce resonance or resonant effects.
2. To evoke a feeling of shared emotion or belief: “It is a demonology [that] seems to resonate among secular and religious voters alike” (Tamar Jacoby).
3. To correspond closely or harmoniously: “Symbolism matters, especially if the symbols resonate with the larger message” (William Greider).
v.tr.





To cause to resound.

Good – but still not what I’m after. Let’s try Resonance.

res·o·nance (rz-nns)
n.
1. The quality or condition of being resonant: words that had resonance throughout his life.
2. Richness or significance, especially in evoking an association or strong emotion: “It is home and family that give resonance . . . to life” (George Gilder). “Israel, gateway to Mecca, is of course a land of religious resonance and geopolitical significance” (James Wolcott).
3. Physics The increase in amplitude of oscillation of an electric or mechanical system exposed to a periodic force whose frequency is equal or very close to the natural undamped frequency of the system.
4. Physics A subatomic particle lasting too short a time to be observed directly. The existence of such particles is usually inferred from a peak in the energy distribution of its decay products.
5. Acoustics Intensification and prolongation of sound, especially of a musical tone, produced by sympathetic vibration.
6. Linguistics Intensification of vocal tones during articulation, as by the air cavities of the mouth and nasal passages.
7. Medicine The sound produced by diagnostic percussion of the normal chest.
8. Chemistry The property of a compound having simultaneously the characteristics of two or more structural forms that differ only in the distribution of electrons. Such compounds are highly stable and cannot be properly represented by a single structural formula.

Now those are some VERY cool definitions!

I like this one: Richness or significance, especially in evoking an association or strong emotion: “It is home and family that give resonance . . . to life” (George Gilder).

And I am particularly interested in this one:

5. Acoustics Intensification and prolongation of sound, especially of a musical tone, produced by sympathetic vibration. Especially these words “sympathetic vibration”.

I believe that is the essence of resonance. When someone says, does or writes something that “resonates”, with us, I believe it creates a “sympathetic vibration” in our very core. The words vibrate and create a similar vibration within us which is why our response can often be so very visceral.

And here is the story of how I saw this illustrated.

I was at a conference and this topic of resonance came up. The speaker had a grand piano onstage and invited one of her friends onstage who is a professional singer. They lifted the top of the piano and put a microphone and small camera inside. The singer belted out and held a perfect “C” note. After about 90 seconds, the C string inside the piano began to vibrate and then hum the exact same “C” note. It was amazing.

Now, when something I hear or read or see strikes me deeply, I remember this image. My internal chords are vibrating and humming at the same level as that which moved me.

Isn’t that just beautiful?

As always, I am deeply interested in your thoughts and experiences around resonance and cannot WAIT to read what you share!

Escaping Mediocrity: My Blueprint

March 2nd, 2010

So many new adventurers have joined the Escaping Mediocrity Tribe in the past six months, that I thought revisiting the blueprint I am using for my own escape plan might be helpful.

I originally wrote this post back in  – oh wow, just checked the date – MAY 2009 as “Hatching My Escape Plan”. You can read it here.

I am going to copy and paste it here and add some updates. Plus I see that I have neglected to write posts on each element of the blueprint, so I am going to step up that game so that we all have something to go by as we design our own plan to escape mediocrity in our businesses and our lives.

——————————————————————————————————————————————–

Hatching My Escape Plan

So, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my Plan to Escape Mediocrity. I swear it feels like I am masterminding a breakout from Alcatraz. (Cue Mission Impossible music!)

WAIT – I’ll do that for you since I now know how!! http://tinysong.com/gZY3

Seriously, I think if I – and anyone else who wants to come along – will ever break free from mediocrity and into a life and business filled with authentic adventure, we need a plan, a map, a blueprint so we can tell if we are on the right track.

I want to share what I have come up with so far. These are in no particular order because no one is going to have the exact same escape mediocrity route. But I think we can at least use them to stake out where we need to begin digging the tunnels.

My plan now is to write a blog post for each one of these so we can elaborate and discuss them.

(As mentioned above, I have dropped the ball on this so I’m going to kick up it up so we can dig in hard on our plan to Escape Mediocrity.)

My rucksack is packed – have a compass, a shovel, and a canteen. Anyone else coming?!

Blueprint for a Kick-Butt Escape Mediocrity Plan

  1. Accept Responsibility, or Not. (wrote blog posts about this here and here.)
  2. Define and Defend Your Integrity. (Though I have touched on this here & there, I want to write a dedicated post.)
  3. Check Your Assumptions. (I talked about this here, but again – it deserves its own post.)
  4. Consider Your Choices. Score – wrote this post It’s All About Choices
  5. Pay Attention. Have this post already planned – yeah me!
  6. Get Into Gratitude. another score – wrote about that here.
  7. Secure Your Spiritual Core. Yeah….need to write this one.
  8. Play to Your Strengths. and this one.
  9. Seek Wise Counsel. and this one.
  10. Protect Your Priorities. Ok – I wrote about creating what matters here, but I want to dig in on how to protect what matters in a future post.

***Emergency Plan for when you get totally lost: Go find someone who needs help and help them.***

Original Art uploaded on May 23, 2008
by phill.d

So, there you go. My blueprint for Escaping Mediocrity. It certainly isn’t the be all to end all, but I still think it is a great place to start. 🙂

So, as always, I am intensely curious about what you think. Do these elements of a plan of escape resonate with you? As you develop your own blueprint to escape mediocrity – however you define that – what elements would you add?

Can’t WAIT to start this conversation!!!

I am lazy

February 18th, 2010

Seriously. I really am.

So when I am asked about the energy and courage I must have to summon to  be transparent and work the way I do, I kind of laugh.

See, I’ve been in the space where “image is everything”. I bought that program, that ebook and that conference. And I believed that I had to project a certain image of success if I wanted to BE successful. I thought I had to be manipulative and use questionable tactics to make my business look big and important.

And though it felt totally awful, I thought those gurus knew more than I did so I sucked it up and tried to be like them.

Except it didn’t work. And more important, it made me sad, scared and exhausted. The energy required to keep up that facade nearly did me in.

So I reached the place where I had to answer this question for myself: “If being successful means living a lie, do you want that kind of success?”

(Sounds like an easy question to answer I know, but remember, there is a whole group of gurus who make that kind of success sound incredibly enticing – and make a TON of $$$$ while they do it.)

After much struggle and soul-searching, I realized that I was paying a very dear emotional, psychological and physical price for that promise of success. And I decided that even if it meant admitting total failure, I was no longer willing to do it.

So I stopped.

I stopped putting energy into remembering who it was I was “supposed” to look like. I stopped putting energy into projecting the trappings (intentional word choice) of success. I stopped putting energy into business tactics that just felt wrong. I stopped putting energy into creating an image of someone I am not. I stopped putting energy into trying to find that elusive “magic key”.

I dropped it all on the ground and let it crash into a million pieces.

Devastating and terrifying at first. I had put so much time into creating that version of myself. And if I wasn’t going to be THAT person, who was I going to be?

And then the answer hit me over the head. I would be ME. Me with all the imperfections and craziness and insecurities and fears and silliness that makes me me. And if my BFFs were the only ones who thought I was amazing, so be it.

And I’ve never looked back.

My energy, my focus and my love for what I do is at stratospheric heights. The people I connect with everyday are the most awesome I have EVER met. And my engagement with life couldn’t be richer.

This life – right now – though far from perfect –  is exhilarating.

So now I am lazy.  I will NEVER expend energy trying to force myself into some kind of cookie cutter mold. I will NEVER try to be someone or something I am not. I will NEVER drain off my precious energy to devise and maintain a mask that covers up who I really am – warts and all. It is just too exhausting.

And besides. I’d rather use all that time and energy hanging out with you. 🙂

Creating What Matters Most in 2010

January 6th, 2010

For those of you who got my 3 Keys (you can get yours by signing up at the top of this page), this post will look very familiar. I think the concepts are so important though, that they bear repeating.

What Matters Most in 2010?

This is a tough question to answer, isn’t it? I am sure if I asked you what mattered most to you in your life, you would be able to tell me very quickly. But, if I watched you throughout your days, weeks, months, would the way you prioritize your time truly reflect what matter’s most to you?

If you are like most people (including me) , there is so much competing for our attention that it is easy to get caught up in the “tyranny of the urgent” putting out fires and rushing from thing to thing. Then we are left with a feeling of disappointment or emptiness because we haven’t truly focused on our heart’s priorities.

I’d like to share a few ideas for helping you find your way to What Matter’s Most.

1 – Make a list of all the areas of your life: Family, Personal, Spiritual, Physical Health, Career, – general categories will do just fine.

2 – Write down one single personal, heartfelt priority in that area for you. For example, under Family, your singular priority may be to be to have a happy, cheerful home. A Physical Health priority might be to exercise in some form or fashion three times a week. Yes I know there’s lots to choose from, but for the purpose of this exercise, choose the one priority to speaks to your heart.

3 – Have your list of priorities? Great! Now for the next week, every time a choice must be made about how you spend your time, I want you to consult this list. If it does not fit under one of your priorities, I want you to take a minute to evaluate it. If you feel compelled to do it, are you willing to forfeit another priority on your list in order to do it? So often we “think” something is a necessity when it really isn’t.

4 – Now that you’ve developed a more conscious attitude toward your time commitments and how they reflect your priorities, use this  new found knowledge to help you get to What Matters Most and leave the Urgent But Unimportant behind.

This is not a foolproof exercise. Really it is just a way to help you make choices (one of my favorite words!) about what matters most to you. It is also a way to help you become more conscious about how you spend your time. If you find that the way you spend your time is in conflict with what really matters to you then you have some decisions to make. You can either change what matters to you or change how you spend your time. That sounds simple I know, but those are really the only available options.

When I do this exercise – and I do it fairly regularly – I often find that what I am devoting the lion’s share of my time to has nothing at all to do with what matters to my heart. Then I face to challenging but doable task of re-aligning my time with my values. Sometimes the choices are difficult, but the reward is a happy spirit and a fulfilled heart. And that is what makes this life worth living!

Photo Attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/desiitaly/ / CC BY 2.0

My Number One Strategy For Escaping Mediocrity

January 4th, 2010

It all started as kind of a joke. Because I tweet about napping almost as much as I tweet about coffee, people started asking me when I was going to write a post about it.

Then @WarrenWhitlock decided that I could make a career out of being a Napping Coach. (He was kidding, sort of.)

After that, I started getting more serious questions about napping and I found myself saying, more than once, that napping is my Number One strategy for Escaping Mediocrity. And I’m really not kidding.

See, when we are storming the beaches of mediocrity, we have to dig down into our reserves and push ourselves harder than we ever thought possible.

But here’s the critical thing: we MUST have the reserves to call on. If we don’t, that critical moment will come and no matter how badly we want to dig in and push, we just don’t have the steam to do it.

And believe me, I’ve learned this the hard way. More than once. And I never want it to happen again.

So I take naps. Often. And it helps that I live with a seven year old who expends such enormous amounts of energy throwing himself into life that he needs naps too (and sometimes I score an invite!).

(Image http://www.flickr.com/photos/catikaoe/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

I also make serious choice about where to expend my energy. I exercise almost every day; I try to make decent choices about what I eat; I get massages; I take care of health concerns. My job is to protect my energy so that I have it in abundance for the things that truly matter to me.

And for me, nothing does that like crawling under the blankets if it’s cold or turning on the fan if it’s hot and letting my mind drift off to sleep.

If you need a really good reason for giving yourself permission to take a nap, remember this: that moment on the beaches will come and you won’t get much warning. If you want to be ready, you’ve got to have a full reserve tank. Think of your nap as pulling up to the gas station and saying “Fill ‘er up!”

See you when you wake up!

What Starts You Up?

December 28th, 2009

Since I’ve Burned The Ships and am Playing to Win, now it’s time to get this thing started!!

And, to set the mood, today’s post has a theme song (I highly recommend spinning this tune while you continue reading.): http://tinysong.com/7k4S

Lots of people have asked me how I get started or what starts me up or how I find a place to begin.  I so wish I had a magic somethin somethin that I could share for how I start, but I don’t.  What I do have are some tools that I use when I know I want to get something underway, but can’t quite figure out how.

I didn’t think up any of these, by the way. I read them, borrowed them and adapted them mostly from Julia Cameron, author of the Artist’s Way, and Anne LaMott, author of Bird by Bird – oh and of course my mentor, Martha Beck.

After I list the tools I use, I am REALLY hoping you will add to the list by sharing yours. This way there will be lots of ideas and something for everyone. 🙂

Here we go:

1) I walk/exercise without listening to my ipod. This keeps me from tuning out or what is going on around me and I can pay attention. I notice things, people, color, texture – all kinds of things that engage my brain – that are numbed out if tunes are cranking in my ears.

2) I write something everyday. Sometimes it’s publishable, sometimes it’s not. Finding my true voice is a lot like peeling an onion and the only way I know to pull back the layers is to put my voice on paper everyday.

3) I try things. When I get an idea for something, I try it out in some small way. Maybe I ask some trusted colleagues about it, or I tweet about it or I write a blog post about it. Taking a small action on it keeps it from remaining in my head as “just another good idea”.

4) I ask myself this question (a LOT): “What is the smallest step I can take on this – so small that I know I can complete it without fail?”

5) I just start. I know that sounds simple, but I’m really good at getting ready to start, reading more about starting, gathering my “stuff”, etc. For me, these are just delay tactics to keep me from starting.

And at the end of the day, here’s the one thing I always try to remember: I don’t have to be certain to begin; I just have to begin.

So now it’s your turn (my favorite part!). How do you get yourself started?

Levity Will Save Us All

December 21st, 2009

If you’ve been following along the last few weeks, you’ve probably noticed that my blog posts have gotten quite Ernest, Sincere and Serious (I capitalized these on purpose). It seems that I fell into the trap of “escaping mediocrity is serious business” thinking.

And some days, it is serious. It requires that I be more than I think I can be, make choices I don’t think I can make, and push myself into places I’m frightened to go.

So I sit and think, and write, and ponder about all of this and then…..

My seven year old son asks “Hey mom, can you make Snickerdoodle pancakes?”

And I realize that there is this whole other piece to escaping mediocrity that I’ve been totally neglecting.

It’s the part about having fun. It’s the part about playing. It’s the part about looking up the recipe or the instructions (or making up either of those if necessary) for something I’ve never done before – simply because.

And if the holiday season can’t bring out the playful kid in me, I am doomed.

So, I said to my son, “I’ve never made snickerdoodle pancakes but they sound delicious. Let’s find a recipe and make them!!”

(I tweeted about this on Sunday and many of you asked for the recipe. I found two which are posted below.)

We measured, we stirred, we laughed when the sugar dumped over. We even cut the top off of a squeeze bottle so we could make funny faces and shapes in the pan.

And when we ate them….mmmm…it was like eating a warm cinnamon sugar cookie with butter and maple syrup. And we reveled in the edible masterpiece we created.

And all the capital E effort I can muster will NEVER be able to duplicate that most UNmediocre split-second in time.

I’m thinking this might be the secret gas pedal for my escape plans. Just to make sure, I plan on experimenting with more fun, play, laughter and doing stuff just because it sounds like fun.

Wanna come decorate cookies with me?!

Snickerdoodle Pancakes Recipe #1:

2 eggs (can use egg whites only if preferred)

¼ cup sugar

1 1/4 c milk

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract (to taste)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. Beat together eggs and sugar with a wire whisk or electric mixer. Then add the milk and stir.

2. Add vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.

3. Stir in flour until batter is smooth and thick to the point that it coats the back of a spoon.

4. Pour onto a non-stick griddle or frying pan.

5. Flip when exposed top is bubbly and the edges of the pancake are drying.

6. Serve with your choice of syrup, fruit topping or as a desert with ice cream.
Snickerdoodle Pancake Recipe #2

2 cups Pancake Mix

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

11/4 cups milk

1 egg

3 tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

In medium bowl, stir together pancake mix, brown sugar, chocolate chips and salt. Add milk, egg, butter and vanilla. Stir with a whisk until blended. For each pancake, pour 2 tablespoons batter onto lightly greased and preheated 375°F griddle (medium heat). Cook 11/2 minutes per side, turning only once.

Playing to Win vs. Playing Not to Lose

December 16th, 2009

Whew. I am still recovering from setting my ships on fire and watching their smoldering remains slowly sink in the harbor.

My stomach is still a tad topsy-turvy and I feel slightly disoriented. But you know what? There’s no way home so I best got hopping on on my game plan.

Which brings me to today’s post.

See, I’ve written game plans before. I’m very good at them really. And I can fill all the pertinent details and even execute them with precision. Knowing “how” to do something is one of my specialties. I can fill my days, my weeks, my months and my life with executing the “how’s”.

And that is playing not to lose. Let me explain.

(Just for clarity, the rest of this post is about me and my biz, not the work I do with my clients. I push them to the point of insanity. Really. Just ask them.)

I am a small business strategist. It is my job to assess a business goal and build the very best strategy to achieve it. I don’t like guessing at outcomes; I like controlling them. And if I can’t control them or know them ahead of time, I’m not stepping out. Minor risk is ok, but nothing that will liquidate major assets (cash and otherwise) is acceptable.

To make it sound savvy and smart, I’ve called it “calculated risk” (which, just so you know, I think is a wise thing). But I wasn’t mapping out “calculated risk”, I was mapping out safety nets and cautious progress. Just push the envelope a teeny bit here, try not to make too many people mad, try this little thing over here that *might* work. I think  you get the idea.

Why would I do that? Because if I don’t try too hard or care too much, I won’t be heartbroken if it doesn’t work

I was playing NOT to lose.

But now that I’ve burned my ships, here’s what I know: crippling caution will not serve me; it will get me killed.

Yes, I need to read the lay of the land and decide exactly where I am going (which I will finish up tomorrow) and then I MUST strike out boldly. (Remember that saying “Fortune favors the bold.”? I believe it.)

Now is my time for Playing To Win. saban

Let me give you a few distinctions on Playing to Win vs Playing Not to Lose. (And I am REALLY hoping you will add yours to the list in the comments.)

“I’m gonna knock this out of the park!” vs. “Gee, I wonder if anyone is going to like this?”

“Here’s what I have to say about that.” vs. “Saying what I think might make the wrong people angry.”

“I have what it takes to make this succeed.” vs. “I wonder if I know enough to do this?”

“I can slay the field.” vs. “I want the field to like me so I won’t try too hard.”

“I will push all my chips to the center of the table.” vs “I holding a pile of chips back in case I need them.”

“I deeply care about this.” vs. “I think it will sound good if I say I care about that.”

“I dug down and gave it my best.” vs. “Meh, I really didn’t try that hard anyway.”

“I love you.” vs. “I’m not telling them because they may not feel the same way.”

I think you get the idea.

So, as always, I’m hoping I’m not alone in shifting my game from playing not to lose to playing to win. AND, I’m hoping you have a PTW vs PNTL you will share in the comments, too.

Who’s in?!

(And you are feeling a big YES to all this, please check out my upcoming blog series 30 Days to Changing Your Game.)