Saturday, August 18, 2018

Calls to Action

Values evolve over time. If values are ever true, they refine without denying what once was. They grow. They distill. They find ways to self-generate the results they aspire to.

Choose your path...

Here are some values I've refined into calls to action. I don't just agree with them, I expect to do them. To show them. To act on them. Sometimes it goes well, and often I fall short. The journey is a long one, so keep going.

Here are my current calls to action:


  1. Be your best
  2. Stay curious
  3. Turn toward all offers (bids) to start
  4. Challenge yourself
  5. Reach out with compassion
  6. Expand your possibilities
  7. Appreciate
  8. Play nice, work hard, stay smart
  9. Learn constantly
What are your values? What are your calls to action?

-- doug smith

TMI Department: Not Ready

The house on Elm Street burns


It was about three years ago when I told my therapist, in talking about my ex, "I guess I should feel good that she's happy and wish her well..."

His response?

"That's preposterous. It hurts too much for that and you know it. You can let that bullshit go."

I appreciated his honesty. I understood my own truth in that moment. It was preposterous then.

And, it still is.

Some hurts heal. Some scar over. Some leave sensitive spots. If you can't fix it, at least don't pretend something that's not true.

-- doug smith


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Push Against Your Limits


Creativity, like leadership, requires us to stretch. To be at our most creative we must grow. Since we are surrounded by limitations, that can cause some discomfort. Which boundaries should we cross? Which lines are mental and which are metal?

How do we create without getting hurt (or worse, hurting?)

I'm not sure. Maybe that's the wrong question. Maybe the question is -- what limits should we ignore today? What limits should we buck against and stretch?

If a limit is telling you that you are NOT creative -- ignore it.
If a limit is telling you that you cannot grow -- defy it.
If a limit is telling you that the world doesn't need your creativity -- laugh it off.

The world needs you. The world needs your creativity. The world needs you at your creative best.

The creative life pushes against limits.

Keep pushing.

-- doug smith

Cartoon: Blue Collar Crazy (1976)

blue collar crazy - douglas brent smith 1976


My idea of humor in 1976. These are some tough job requirements. Job interviews have always been tough.

Sketch: Balancing Topper


Not much more than a doodle but it brings me joy and seemed brilliant in 1976. Now, I'm not so sure, but I can still smile.


Cartoon: A short treatise on existence



I created this oddity in 1976, in the middle of a disappearing relationship, working a series of very odd jobs including security guard, bartender, and parking lot attendant. Saved for posterity because I'm just too self-absorbed not to, I guess.

You May Not Need Every Tool


Do you have a lot of tools?

I don't. I had a nice collection inherited from my dad (I call them a collection because I collected them but when they were his he actually USED them) until they were destroyed in a fire.


Now, an apartment dweller, I have few tools. I still don't use all of them -- but I know how.

When we are solving problems we have many tools. The temptation is to use them all. It's oddly satisfying to bring out tool after tool. Satisfying, but sometimes inefficient. Simplicity - elegant simplicity is often best.

Use the tools that work, and leave the rest for another time.

It isn't always necessary to overwhelm a problem in order to solve it.

Sometimes the solution is right there in from of you and in need of only one tool. Dialogue. Talk about it and see what happens. You might just solve that problem faster than you expected.

-- doug smith

This entry comes from one of my other blogs: High Performance Leadership and also appears on Centered Problem Solving. I copied it here, just because...