Discovering Agreement vs Negotiating Terms

I’ve just read the article by J. Kim Wright (of CuttingEdgeLaw) about the value and importance of putting business agreements in writing.  I agree with Kim that one of the most valuable things you can do is put the agreements and understandings you have into writing – in words you understand and are fully comfortable with.

The ‘boilerplate’ language that many attorneys and pre-drafted document kits provide is often unintelligible – even to the experts and courts.  This inscrutability makes the documents practically worthless – or worse, harmful – because the people who agree to be bound by them may have no real idea of the potential consequences of those contracts.

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Traveling Thoughts

I’m heading out for Colorado this week.  I’ll be driving. Road trip! I love to drive across the country and am busy planning and packing. I want to be well-prepared.

The hours of solitude are like a personal retreat for me. I take the roads less traveled whenever possible (in this case, Route 50 “The Loneliest Road in America”) and I carefully choose audio books and music to accompany me.

This trip, I’m taking David Whyte’s new 6 CD set “What To Remember When Waking” (available from David’s web site, from Sounds True, and from Audible.com, among others).  The title of the course is taken from David’s poem of the same name, from which I offer this excerpt:

What you can plan
is too small
for you to live.

What you can live
wholeheartedly
will make plans
enough . . .

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Willpower and Willingness

My inner nag is pointing out all the things I’ve left undone . . . and my inner resister-of-authority wonders if the ‘not doing’ is about needing a break.  This is always a tricky question.  I am so ready to believe that I’m a slacker who is just looking for an excuse to play hooky. 

 Productivity / Creativity – getting enough of both

Does productivity rely on effort or nurture?  I know that creativity needs nurturing (plenty of inspirational experiences and freedom).  I’ve always assumed that productivity needed a firmer hand, a driving force.  Now I’m wondering if that is necessarily true?

My creativity can dream things up – but bringing a dream from hope to fruition requires discipline, which is, in my experience, a triumph of will over unwillingness (nose to the grindstone; buckle down; straighten up and fly right . . . you get the drift).   

Might it be possible to have robust productivity without tyrannical will-power and the abrasion of facial features?  . . . read more

BTUs & Freedom

One bright morning, as we sat at the breakfast table with our good friends Phil and Rhonni, I looked down at the dreadful rust-colored indoor/outdoor carpeting that former inhabitants had glued to the floor of our cottage’s kitchen. To the table in general, I moaned, “I hate this carpet.  It would be so great to have a wooden floor instead; but I’m afraid it will be nearly impossible to get this dreadful orange stuff up.” And I sighed with despair at the hopelessness of it all.

Without a word and in one smooth, swift movement, Phil put down his spoon, whipped a mat knife from his back pocket, and without rising from his chair, leaned over and laid a long, tearing cut across two feet of the hated flooring.  While I was still drawing breath to shout, Phil re-pocketed the knife and reached down to rip away a large strip of the dreadful carpet along with an underlying layer of decaying linoleum.  Revealed in the gap was a strip of beautiful old heart-wood flooring—a sleeping beauty waiting to be awakened. At the end of that day, the finish on my lovely antique wooden floor was drying to a beautiful luster as we ate our dinner in the garden.

Phil’s “Make A Hole” philosophy of overcoming inertia &
My philosophy of
Freedom-Friendly BTUs

For those who work mainly in building, gardening, or other occupations that involve physically making/changing things – the above described approach is what I have come to call the Phil Perry principal of Make A Hole.  Start in a way that means you must continue.  Burn the bridge leading back  to “Reasons Why It’s Too Hard” and you are compelled beyond the inertia into “Now I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING” action.  Tucked into my day-planner  I have the little fortune cookie proverb from a years-ago meal: “The simplest answer is to act.”  (The lucky numbers on it are: 42, 17, 11, 5, 32, 24 – just  FYI.)

When you work mainly at a table, desk or computer, in order to get things done, you pretty much have to Apply Butt To Chair and spend some time there; hence, BTUs (Butt Time Units); but the imperative of BTUs often feels like a prison sentence.  . . . read more