Day 21 of My 1-Year Experiment

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Spring

April 2019

Speaking on behalf of Emma the Baroness, Steve Zahn and Henry Winkler we had hoped for a better selection of Holiday Tau for today, 4/12/19.  I guess it wasn’t in the cards. But, we sure could have used a little boost of inspiration or motivation especially during this time when I had been into heavy research and long hours of accumulating all the tips and tricks you need to do for working on the business, not just working in the business — where the fun lies for me.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

How can I apply McQueen’s Tau?  There certainly is “Volume Two” all about the secrets to finding the best fit and avoiding the worst fit for my clients in C-Suites and over the past 10 years as the economic climate shrugged off the Great Recession and recovered.  So given that I’ll rate the TauBit higher, but reserve it for when I turn my attention to writing the second volume.

“4”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): To get where you want to go within an organization, you’ll need the gatekeepers of various departments to open up their doors to you.” Aries

My first impulse?  I wish.  I’m still on a steep learning curve — how to turn procrastination into a strength, how to create accessible web forms, how to use SEO, how to handle ISBNs, and dipping into the Apple Books toolbox.  Phew!

“2”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69:You’ll have success with today’s venture.  The hard part is staying modest in those moments when it’s all going your way.” Taurus

Mr. Jobs’ Holiday Tau feels good to believe in, to have faith in. But do I believe it? No, not yet.

“3”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011):The amount of natural talent you need to succeed at the enterprise you have your eye on is surprisingly little.  You have a hundred times more than you need.” Pisces

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

Day 34 of My Pandemic Year Experiment

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Spring

April 2020

Welcome to TauBits for the Taking, the Pandemic Year Experiment on this Friday, 4/24/20.

Here’s the text of my group email I’m circulating with my former Proteges and Mentors after  yesterday’s marathon “Working on the Business” session. 

At our home we’ve earned our black belt in Zooming. 

But, this morning after writing portions of a chapter about organizations and what it takes to move from decline to reinvention, I just had to get out of the house.

I walked about three miles around a lake. 

Took a few video frames of a mallard duck family swimming across it’s surface in a mirrored reflection of fluffy clouds, local mountain peaks and lake-front homes.  

I also listened to Stephen King being interviewed in a Fresh Air podcast.  

He was asked about the pandemic (he wrote a book about one in the ‘90s, I think) and how did staying-in-place change his creative process, if he was in fact writing a new book now.

It did.  He is.

He had to revisit chapters already written (a process I know all too well) and figure out changes to the original setting of his story.  

He told Terry Gross it was supposed to take place on a cruise ship in 2020.  

I know, right?

But, he said he’s accelerated his writing progress, because being stuck at home he’s running out of things that normally tempt him to procrastinate. 

Temptations I know all too well.

And he said something else that now I’m wondering about.  

When we get to the other side of this COVID-19 chasm, what will have to be reimagined? 

I’m wondering if, given the rippling effects of interdependencies and supply chains, will anything in your life or industry or relationships with your clients or customers dramatically change as a result? 

Do you envision a new normal?

Or, will it be the same old, same old?

I’d love to hear what your take is.

Stay safe and healthy.

Steve

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I’m looking forward to everyone’s responses, as long as, I can keep my momentum going while simultaneously publishing now on Patreon.

And, I’m wondering how well our collective Holiday Tau steps up to meet our novel coronavirus challenges.

So, Zahnny you realize how high the stakes are for your Holiday Tau on this start to the weekend, right?  You don’t want to disappoint the Fonz or more importantly my partner in crime, Emma the Baroness and me. I sorta, kinda get it, but I’m not fully appreciating a strong “5”.

“4”  Steve Zahn, 51:“It’s fortifying to spend time with people who appreciate you or to spend time doing the things that really make you appreciate yourself. The opposite is detrimental.Scorpio:

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for those of who weren’t born yesterday, but a day later.  And, let’s check back in late August when things will be back to normal.

Today’s birthday:  Love is the star this year. You want a deep relationship and you’ll get it; you’re able to be vulnerable and open to enrichment. You’ll connect with the emotions of others because you take the time to understand your own emotions better. You’ll soar on the confidence of a personal or professional win in late August.

So W&W I clearly see how this Holiday Tau fits you both, but I can only hope what I’m circulating in my group emails accomplishes any thing close to your standards.

“4”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69: You’ll fill needs that people didn’t even realize they had. It’s also possible that you create need by providing something very interesting and getting people used to having it in their lives.  Taurus

Haha, you three had me with your opening premise about change, until you hit “if especially if the environment stays the same.”  Really? Stays the same. Really?

“4”  Steve Carell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: Trying to change too many habits at once almost always fails, especially if the environment stays the same. Your winning move involves taking on one behavioral change at a time.” Leo

Now we’re talking.  And, if you haven’t already noticed this is the first day when we welcome Stephen King.  So things are getting harder than they should be and they don’t seem to be getting easier any time soon (may be in August if Today is your Birthday), but I find your Holiday Tau timely.

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:When things seem harder than they should be, figure out why. Ask, “How can I make this easier?” You might be surprised at how a few decisions can change the whole game.” Virgo

We used to imitate Steve Jobs with a similar motto, “It’s better to seek forgiveness that to ask permission.” And, I like how you tweaked your Holiday ever so much with pointing out sometimes it’s far better to stray from the beaten path.

“5”  Steve Kerr, 54: “Don’t ask other people for green lights. Green lights don’t work that way. Usually, they are on timers. And often, when you hit one, you’ll start to hit them all. Or you can always take the backroads.” Libra

Now, don’t read this any other way than it is intended, Steve.  Your TauBit of Wisdom is a core value of mine being in the helping and developing professions as I changed careers.  But, today I’m just not convinced I should rate your contribution a “5”.

“3”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): Your positive attitude is grounded in this: Everyone is capable of improving. So whether a person is innately talented or disadvantaged is really beside the point and certainly not worth dwelling on.” Pisces

The KnewsLetter

The Tau of Steves

    • “5”  Steve Harvey, 62:You’re not looking to be consoled by things that affirm what you already believe, at least not consciously. To stay aware and honest, keep questioning what you think is true.  Capricorn 
    • “5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72:When things seem harder than they should be, figure out why. Ask, “How can I make this easier?” You might be surprised at how a few decisions can change the whole game.” Virgo

What’s Next from the Labs

Headlines and Highlights 

Long-Form

    • Just picked up “Bob Dylan In America” by Sean Wilentz.  Maybe because of the subliminal messaging like the times are a changing and the answer is blowing in the wind, but I kinda like Sean’s fanboy becomes music critic becomes historian surrounding Dylan’s life and times.

Progress and Procrastination

    • Progress — First hearing about his work in the Sam Harris podcast and then reading about him in Medium, I feel Matt Mullenweg’s take on the future of remote work as CEO of Automattic is now. And can be a strategy for others to follow if the pandemic worsens.

Speaking Volumes

    • “Volume Two — Work” manuscript: Role of intuition in both innies “I” and outies “E” — INTP and ENTP and my 16 Talent Profiles system for identifying the best and worst places for you to work, including growth or decline stages.

Working on the Business

    • My followers increase on Flipboard from 1628 to 1703

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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RelatedDay 19 of My 1-Year Experiment TauBits for the Taking

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TauBits for the Taking

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Spring

April 2021

It’s Thursday and this is another edition of “TauBits for the Taking” on 4/29/21. Diving deeper into Wikipedia I found luck.  Isn’t that what we all hope for? Yeah, I thought so and that’s why this section of the natural experiment’s conclusions is:

Do I Feel Lucky?

Harry Callahan: You’ve Got To Ask Yourself One Question: ‘Do I Feel Lucky? ‘ Well, Do Ya, Punk?

There’s Dirty Harry and Harry Bosch.  While Michael Connelly’s  Detective Harry Bosch doesn’t believe in coincidences I just read a passage in “Black Box” where he drew energy after getting lucky — he knew reporters follow a story which leads to another story and then another or to a trusted source. 

“But Bosch stayed positive.  He’d gotten lucky with Pistol Pete and the serial number.  There was no reason to think it wouldn’t hold.”  

Of course, Harry had a run in with his newer Lieutenant a page or two later … “So much for his luck holding … he felt that more than his luck suddenly ebbing away.  His momentum and positive attitude were eroding. It suddenly felt like it was getting dark out.”

We talk about luck in improbable, negative or positive terms when we’re faced with random or chance events beyond our control.

Luck is a form of superstition. We already mentioned how Carl Jung coined the term synchronicity, which he described as “a meaningful coincidence”. 

Some evidence supports the idea that belief in luck acts like a placebo, producing positive thinking and improving our responses to events.

Richard Wiseman did a ten-year scientific study… concluding, to a large extent, people make their own good and bad fortune. His research revealed that, “Lucky people generate their own good fortune via four basic principles. 

They are skilled at: 

            • creating and noticing chance opportunities, 
            • making lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, 
            • creating self-fulfilling prophecies via positive expectations, and 
            • adopting a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.”

We’ve heard from two Harrys, a Michael, a Carl and a Richard.  What say we turn our attention to four of my favorite Steves?

You know Zahnny, I have to disagree with your opening premise.  I could agree if you added “but there certainly ideal tribes which I call Talent Cultures in organizations, and (this is a big and) if you know which of 16 Talent Profiles you can claim, then you can more easily select the best and worst organizations and growth stages to pursue.

To your second Holiday Tau observation — yes, organizational change happens slowly and, thank you that fact alone provided years of consulting fees for me in mature companies heading towards decline, but desperately wanting to reinvent themselves.  

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “There are no ideal groups, though it’s fun to imagine things being better. Organizational change tends to happen very slowly; changing yourself is relatively quick and doing so will affect the entire group.” Scorpio

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Which way should I interpret your TauBit of Wisdom, Steve?  My first take more easily fit this passion project, especially as I write up my natural experiment’s report. 

But now rereading it — probably influenced by Zahnny — I might reclassify it from practical, project and task orientation to how I went about my role as an external consultant and an intrapreneur in those declining organizations.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): Because you want to make your work the best it can be, you’re willing to entertain new ideas. You’ll banter, twist and play around with your resources. Changes and add-ons will take it to the next level.” Aries

WTF G&G?  How lucky am I?  All three of today’s Holiday Tau, yours included, describe what was foremost in how I approached my professional career and peeled away the onion layers to find the simplest answer to complicated challenges. Thanks, Steves.

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61:Complex problems may not require complex solutions. However, finding the solution that works may be a long and winding journey that seems complicated indeed! Regardless, stay in it for the long haul and the satisfying end.” Virgo

“In the Knews Letter”

The Tau of Steves 

  • “5”  Steve Carell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: “While emotional energy, like love, may be invisible, to your eye, it animates the physical world quite obviously. You will easily tell how people are feeling, especially when they are trying to hide those feelings.” Leo
  • “5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “There are no ideal groups, though it’s fun to imagine things being better. Organizational change tends to happen very slowly; changing yourself is relatively quick and doing so will affect the entire group.” Scorpio

Trends Fresh from the Labs

Headlines and Highlights 

Long-Form

    • I enjoy any of the Harry Bosch detective books in the series authored by Michael Connelly.  “A Darkness More Than Night,” described “A strange constricting feeling filled his gut. He didn’t believe in coincidences… (It) was a coincidence that even a believer in coincidence would have a difficult time accepting.”So much for detectives, tying up loose ends, relying on their hunches and reordering data, information and witness first hand accounts. 
    • Or, in “Black Box,” Connelly’s latest Harry Bosch adventure he writes, “But Bosch stayed positive.  He’d gotten lucky with Pistol Pete and the serial number.  There was no reason to think it wouldn’t hold.”  Of course, Harry had a run in with his newer Lieutenant a page or two later … “So much for his luck holding… he felt that more than his luck suddenly ebbing away.  His momentum and positive attitude were eroding. It suddenly felt like it was getting dark out.”

Progress and Procrastination

    • Progress — Composing a draft of the Conclusions Section of the Report

Speaking Volumes

    • Can I structure the “Volume Three Manuscript” story like in “True Believers,” the novel by Kurt Andersen? He describes the writing of a memoir and the horrible secret as the heart of his story, but in a fictional story.  

Working on the Business

    • @KnowLabs suite of digital magazines jumps from 8003 to 8088 organically grown followers

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Day 3 of My Pandemic Year Experiment

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Day 179 of My 1-Year Experiment

Winter

February 2020

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  Hasn’t this 1-year experiment reached its conclusion by now?  All I can say is I make the rules around here like a referee in a soccer match (football on the pitch) and because Emma the Baroness and I toured Norway in the fall, with no access to our Holiday Tau, we’ll be stretching this experiment one more month.

Saturday, 2/29/20 and it’s the end of the winter season, according to me.  And, look you shouldn’t complain because, you get an extra day of winter in this leap year. 

Don’t make it harder on me than it already is.  It’s a Saturday.  

Started reading my Kindle download about introverts — a minority in an extraverted-dominated world. 

And, Pinboarded (my knowledge bank) the passing of the founder of Trader Joe’s with my profile as his ideal customer — highly educated, but not quite affluent.  Broke down my target audience at Patreon into Trader Joe’s description.

  • “Target well-educated, well-traveled — but less-than-affluent — consumers who have more sophisticated and diverse tastes in food and drink.“ 
  • “He got an early take on the emerging trends — from the ecological movement to the raising education level,  the overeducated and the underpaid.” 
  • “What that originally meant was, everyone from underpaid musicians to out-of-work PhDs could come to Trader Joe’s and find elements of the lifestyle they aspired to for not too much money,” 
  • “Wouldn’t find branded items, but the merchandise was always of the highest quality and priced within the reality of a schoolteacher’s salary that offered glimpses into a much more affluent lifestyle.” 

Part of the appeal in shopping at Trader Joe’s is never knowing what new items have been added and what items will no longer be available. 

I forgot how much I love the current version of his “The Insider Report,” a customer newsletter that provided product information and which Coulombe described as “a marriage of Consumer Reports and Mad magazine.” 

In the 1980s, it became known as the “Fearless Flyer,” a chatty rundown on new, seasonal and offbeat offerings at the stores.

So, we’re not in Oslo today, how useful is today’s Holiday Tau?  Zahnny, you’re saying I should view my Patreon platform from the “Wines of the World” section at Traders?

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51:  Look at your scene from outside. Do your systems work? Do your team members support you? How seamless is your route to success?” Scorpio

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Wait.  How weird, yet wonderful at the same time is today’s birthday?  Haven’t I been doing exactly this for 179 days in a row?  Yup!

Today’s birthday: “There are people in your realm of imagination who will give you energy, inspiration and healing if you only ask them.  Living or dead, this doesn’t matter.  The significant thing is your ability to mentally call up what you need and interpret the answers. Dreams will come true.”

I imagine my Patron Saint might have something to say about today’s birthday.

“4”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): You have talents that people in your immediate circle can’t appreciate.  Delve deeper into these gifts; you and others will be lifted by your efforts.  Seek the support you need.  Aries

Winwood and Wonder make a good point in the realm of my imagination.

“4”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69: If you don’t require too much in your life, then what do you need more money for?  Consider what your sacrifice of time, energy and life is all about at this point.  Taurus

Am I correctly interpreting your answer?  

“4”  Steve Smith, 30: Some won’t participate unless they’re sure they’ll get it right.  They have too much to lose.  Then there are the players, willing to let others lead.” Gemini

So, this is my imagination right.  How does this make sense for me today?

“3”  Steve Howey, 42:The thing that puzzles you makes perfect sense to another and vice versa.  Put yourself in another’s shores.  Cancer

This is more like it, guys.  Your Holiday Tau is what I’m looking for.

“5”  Steve Carell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: Usually, the thing people want in the beginning is just a way in.  You’ll gain something unexpected, exciting and vital along the way.” Leo

Thanks, Coach.  I was wondering when you would notice.

“3”  Steve Kerr, 54:Magical people are those who go to events without knowing anyone there, take classes out of curiosity and dip their toes in the streams of life.  You are magical.” Libra

In the Knews Letter

The Tau of Steves

    • “5”  Steve Carell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: The opening gambit is usually fun, filled with hope and promises.  Things become less interesting after that.  So in the case that the beginning isn’t great, don’t stick around for the sagging middle.  On to the next.” Leo 
    • “5”  Steve Harvey, 62:The correct next move might be no move at all. To stand there until the world shifts is a real test of patience that will pay off.  Capricorn 
    • “5”  Steve Carell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: Usually, the thing people want in the beginning is just a way in.  You’ll gain something unexpected, exciting and vital along the way.” Leo

Trends Fresh from the Labs

Headlines and Highlights 

Long-Form 

    • Is’The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For,’ with its scenes of youthful triumph and predictions of a savvier political class, too optimistic? I’d say not, because the coming tribe really does bring hope of breaking the gerontocracy — time is on their side, of course. Is it a book only for young people, as opposed to “oldsters” (to quote Alter)? I would say the book needed to be written by someone her age, but it holds lessons for everyone. Along with the compelling personal narratives, there is historical context and acknowledgment — much of it from the subjects themselves — that every innovator stands on the shoulders of those who came before.”
    • Began reading and taking notes on “The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World” by Marti Olsen Laney — All human beings have 99.9 percent of  the same genetic prescription. Our individual differences come from the 0.1 percent of our genetic material that is just us — derived primarily from our neurochemistry,  a private reserve of about 150 different brain chemicals and recipes to formulate our neurotransmitters — guide messages from cell to cell, directing all brain functions.
    • A SURVEY OF 222 LEADING SCIENTISTS FROM 52 COUNTRIES who identified five global risks: failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation; extreme weather events; major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse; food crises and water crises

Progress and Procrastination

    • Procrastination — Lost a full day replacing my 2000 Toyota 4-Runner with a leased Honda CR-V 
    • Progress —Early feedback from Finnmark:  Interesting concept. I think your opening salvos should be free so people can get a sense of what their Patreon membership will provide. Also, blogs are not going to reach a young audience if that’s what you want. Youtube is far more effective for that age group. 
    • Progress — My Response: Wow, I’m impressed.  Thanks for taking the time to give me great feedback.  Yes you’re probably right.  Nobody reads anymore, so we’re an endangered species.  You’ve given some ideas, I should reach younger people.  I saw videos of your grand niece on the gondola, but I wonder how to reach her.  Oh, wait.  I know. I’m following her on her twitter feed.

Speaking Volumes  

    • My interviewed “Friend of Steve” offered more feedback at the right time for both volumes, Two and Three manuscripts. 

Working on the Business

    • 1,277 Flipboard users follow one or more of my 35 digital magazines. 
    • Who is my target audience at Patreon?  Who knows, but I’m creatively swiping a version of Trader Joe’s:
    1. Introverted creators who are the overeducated and underpaid;
    2. everyone from underpaid musicians to out-of-work PhDs;  
    3. who shop at Trader Joe’s (or wish they could); 
    4. who have more sophisticated and diverse tastes in food and drink.“ 
    5. find elements of the lifestyle they aspired to for not too much money, 
    6. within the reality of a schoolteacher’s salary that 
    7. offered glimpses into a much more affluent lifestyle. 
    8. like a marriage of Consumer Reports and Mad magazine. 
    9. in a chatty rundown on new, seasonal and offbeat offerings

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Day 18 of My 1-Year Experiment

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Spring

April 2019

Our manic teacher, who shaved his head and ranted and raved about how if you’d be coming up against him in the real estate marketplace then you’d better be prepared, because he was all about grabbing exclusive listings that you’d never have the opportunity to lock up.  

4/6/19

You guessed it. Even though it is spring and hope springs eternal the Holiday Tau for Steve Zahn, Henry Winkler, Emma the Baroness and Me has been so lackluster I have no choice but to steal these.  I’m not proud of it.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

First up, let’s steal from two comics and a founder.  This is a two parter. It was fun to think about the future, but it became more of a necessity when I found myself adrift between what was once my career and the unknown of what was to become of me.  

I failed miserably. Couldn’t get a foothold that wouldn’t slip me into despair.  Out of basic survival I received VA tuition income for taking real estate classes on the Irvine campus of Saddleback Community College.  

Our manic teacher, who shaved his head and ranted and raved about how if you’d be coming up against him in the real estate marketplace then you’d better be prepared, because he was all about grabbing exclusive listings that you’d never have the opportunity to lock up.

Later the same night another instructor, who had been a civil engineer and a real estate appraiser, lectured us about how the market defines “higher and better use.  What drives value in the market place? Trends — the macro economic and cultural environment influences ”.  

Oh crap I thought to myself I don’t know nothing about trends. And then I found out there’s just too many to ponder.  And that led to analysis — paralysis.  Yikes.  

And, yes I became guilty of missing the small moments I grew to cherish with Emma the Baroness.

“4”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: It’s fun to think about the future so long as you can avoid getting so caught up in planning that you miss what’s happening right now.” Leo

Is there a point to monitoring trends?  If you get good enough you begin to anticipate why they’re happening, and why you should pay attention far enough in advance to protect your earning capacity and future security.

Oh wait, is this more about the rule of thumb in training I followed?  Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them? Naw.  If it was I’d give it a “2”.

“4”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61: When you tell people what they are about to experience and then deliver on that, the reaction will be favorable.” Virgo

Why steal Aoki’s Holiday Tau when I could have chosen any of the other eleven?  Putting your best foot forward, you need to know which is your best foot when walking is an activity that doesn’t require your conscious direction.  

Ok.  See if this helps.  When you’re really good at something and you’re in the flow, that artistic, creative, professional zone — you just are.  

That’s your superpower.  

In an interview when someone asks you about your strengths you want to describe it, but it’s what you do outside of your awareness.  You’ll stammer and talk in circles leaving a horrible impression unless you take the time break down your super strengths and talents ahead of time. 

Often another’s feedback shortens that process and helps you pull out the valuable tidbits a client or employer would want.  

“3”  Steve Aoki, 41:There are so many wonderful things about your life, most of them so common to you that you can’t really see them.  It’s why the perspective of strangers is so valuable to you now.” Sagittarius

Sorry Steve, this doesn’t get me very far today.

“2”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): You can’t argue with what works, nor is there any point in arguing with what doesn’t.” Aries

Feel free to steal McQueen’s Holiday Tau if it suits you better.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

Day 17 of My 1-Year Experiment

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Spring

April 2019

You’ve been tested a lot recently. Try to temper your self-criticism with a softer and more gracious attitude toward yourself.

4/5/19.  The Holiday Tau for Steve Zahn, Henry Winkler, Emma the Baroness and Me has been so lackluster lately — as I pointed out last week — that at first I only included ours giving it a low score.

I could have easily skipped it again until I re-read the last line and “long-term” caught my imagination.  Taxes.  Filing taxes to be more exact.  

“2”  Steve Zahn, 51: “There will be small ups and downs. Stay cool. It’s the long-term that matters.” Scorpio 

Up until this tax year I’d been practicing a year’s old strategy of minimizing the amount we’d have to pay while salting away as much as was allowed for retirement sometime in the future.  

With good fortune my 401K and IRA contributions grew.  I could predict my income, but the wild card — which I’m too fortunate to complain about — was finding out how much we earned from our Schwab and Edward Jones accounts almost after the deadline they were supposed to honor.  

Filing 2018 Federal and State income taxes surprised me again, the small ups and downs I suppose.  So we stayed cool realizing we fit in extra vacation time I had banked at the University to enjoy on our anniversary trip to Italy.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Was I tested?  I guess you could say I felt angry during the last twelve months working in what I call a Systematic-Professional, Organization Type — a university.  

“3”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): You’ve been tested a lot recently. Try to temper your self-criticism with a softer and more gracious attitude toward yourself.” Aries

What started as a long-term consulting assignment defining and building out a curriculum for Executive MBA students — which I did beginning with the Great Recession and ending 6 months ago — had been my baby.  

I enjoyed the autonomy and the sand box to field test a new, more effective advisory service and mentoring program based on my work with C-Level leaders.  Then as all things must come to an end, a new boss took over with a management style that brought out the worst in me. 

The darkness lifted and over the past 6 months I’ve found time I couldn’t spend before for creating digital magazines, re-structuring my 6 blogs by building websites “around” them and defining a process for self-publishing an up and coming 5-book series. 

Am I flying blind, you bet. So thank you three Steves for allowing me to swipe your Holiday Tau.

“4”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69:You’re getting excited about something new, and you’re not sure how it makes sense for your life.  Just trust yourself. Reasons will emerge.Leo

Scheduling my own time translates into being my own boss who, if truth be told, isn’t always the best example of one.  So, yes this one is for me.  I should return to earlier times when I forced my self time blocks for meditation. 

“4”  Steve Aoki, 41: Modern living can feel relentless. Take a break from the pace and complexity. Stop. Relax. Find peace.” Sagittarius

I have to guess I’m not the only one who becomes frustrated with the challenges of learning newer technologies precisely at the time you expect to pump out results.  

I’m my own tech department.  

Mastering WordPress nearly did me in. As did the my early experience with Flipboard — the platform for my 37 digital magazines delivered Fresh from the Labs.  Literally bottled and set adrift from KnowWhere Atoll. 

“4”  Steve Nash, 45: Concentration on the same task over time will yield deep and substantial results.” Aquarius

What have I learned? 

Publishing to WordPress felt so overwhelming that I forced my self to just start and work line-by-line until I was satisfied with the result. 

Each iteration defined a process which then became an efficient habit. 

So, yes and thank you Steve Nash for letting me creatively swipe your Holiday Tau.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

Day 16 of My 1-Year Experiment

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Spring

March 2019

3/31/19.  While it pains me to admit it the Holiday Tau for Steve Zahn, Henry Winkler, Emma the Baroness and Me has been so lackluster lately I didn’t even list our TauBit to give it a low ranking.  So on to the life of birth crimes …

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

File under “What was I thinking?” Oh, wait nobody said I couldn’t combine two Holiday Taus to make a stronger, more relevant Holiday Tau. 

So part one belongs to Mr. Smith.  My natural inclination is truly to ask the ‘why’ question maybe not to the same extent that I did and you did when we discovered how to exasperate our parents, right?  “Mommy, why is the sky blue?”  “Well … hmm … because … light from the sun turns on the blue color, right Daddy?” “Why?” “Ask your Daddy!” “Why?” 

So I get the first part, but I’m pretty sure I’d skip “What” in favor of “How”.  As in how do I apply my new understanding.

“5”  Steve Smith, 30:You already asked yourself the ‘why’ questions, and it’s time to switch to ‘what’.” Gemini

The Holiday Tau for the two, Winwood and Wonder, kinda, sorta round out my experience.  

When I teach seminars, workshops or present to an audience and, especially when I break down a topic into next steps I have to understand it inside and out.  I agree with those people who say you learn the most out of teaching someone else how to do something.  

And by taking yourself through each step answering the string of “whys” and “hows” you come to the “whats” as in what happens next, what about, and one of my favorites what if …?

“5”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69:When explaining something, you’ll come to understand it with new clarity and most likely develop the next phase of the idea too.” Taurus

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

Day 15 of My 1-Year Experiment

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Spring

March 2019

3/29/19.  While yesterday hit home with its highest ranking so far for Steve Zahn, Henry Winkler, Emma the Baroness and Me, today feels a little less authentic.  

But, I enjoy the metaphor — movie, clips, emotional travel — maybe I caught myself struggling with my multimedia expression — the part of our Italy vacation — enjoying the Grand Canal encircling Venice — illustrated by video clips I wanted to post in Vimeo, but didn’t know how.

“2”  Steve Zahn, 51: “It’s a movie-trailer day. You will learn the gist of the story with a few clips, get a feel for a person within a short interaction and travel emotionally in moments.” Scorpio 

Without the highjacked twist, while I’ve experienced and love these kinds of days for me, it ranks lower for me today.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

So is it possible that I included Steves Nash, Harvey and Kerr because I snubbed those three and all the other possibilities?  Probably.

Can I build the sum-of-the-parts-is-greater-than-the-whole, or am I trying too hard?

So yes, add Steve Nash’s Holiday Tau to my shopping cart — I do love me some DIY pride.

“2”  Steve Nash, 45:You want the satisfaction of knowing you did a thing all by yourself, but don’t dwell there.” Aquarius

It’s always been my M.O.  In fact, there’s a passage in “A Promised Land” when Emma the Baroness could have been busting my chops, but instead it is Michelle giving constructive feedback to her hubby, Barack. She asks if he realized that if given a choice between an easy way and a hard way of doing things he always took the longer more challenging way?

And a yes as a part two of the combination that points out the difficulty of anticipating how what I blog and self-publish will be received creates self-doubt.  

“2”  Steve Harvey, 62:If you always thought about how your words affect others, you wouldn’t be able to express yourself at all.” Capricorn

How much can I stretch Kerr’s Holiday Tau into a third part of the combination and treat it as a way of freeing myself up when the cursor just sits there blinking on a white page?  As long as it doesn’t break your arm or steal your wallet, I say it does.  

“2”  Steve Kerr, 54:Spiritual alignment has a feeling of openness to it. You might think being so open would leave you vulnerable, but you’re attracting what’s good and right for you.” Libra

With a little twist and a squeeze this lack luster day turned out tasty.  

Just add vodka. 

Enjoy!

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

Day 14 of My 1-Year Experiment

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Spring

March 2019

3/28/19.  Not only are we back, but the Holiday Tau exclusively for Zahn, Winkler, Emma the Baroness and me earns my highest ranking for a TauBit of Wisdom in a long, long time.  And I might add to the exclusion of all the rest of Steves.

Why such a high ranking (the highest)? 

 It reflects my lifelong habit, starting in my early 20s, of journaling with a felt tip pen in hand on note paper and eventually into steno notebooks so I wouldn’t lose the pages as often as I did.  

And, yes if I felt blocked, or cornered or frightened or scared or unsure of myself I’d write and draw my way out.  

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “You feel blocked in an area of life, and you’ll write your way out of it.  Getting your feelings down, if only to be read by you, will liberate you.” Scorpio

In psychology circles journaling was and still is a thing, recognized as a positive self-therapeutic tool.  

It took me through feelings about being thousands of miles away from home in a war.  It helped me make sense of the adjustment of returning to a normal life. 

It took me through a divorce and a bankruptcy. And meeting and marrying Emma the Baroness, the love of my life.  

Through career transitions and major life decisions.  

But, the habit introduced new problems — with so much written, how can you efficiently find something you’ve written?  

Digital tools replaced pen and paper. In fact a version of what I experienced can be read by you.

Image Credit: Scott Fisher, Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

Day 13 of My 1-Year Experiment

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Spring

March 2019

3/24/19.  Left alone at the alter again, always a bridesmaid but never the bride.  Isn’t that what you say Emma my Baroness? No Holiday Tau for us.  OK, then, moving on.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Is this cheating?  The rules of this natural experiment aren’t entirely clear.  

Only that I knew going in that the best Holiday Tau wasn’t meant for me.   Was it simply a case of FOMO — covering all my bases by listing 50% of the available TauBits?  

This is another potential precedent-in-the-making; combining multiple TauBits to create a higher score.

Perspective or impossibility? The Holiday Tau for Coach Kerr, who won championships in the NBA as a player and as a professional basketball coach, touches on the need for reflection and practice. 

“4”  Steve Kerr, 54: To look at the big picture of your own life, don’t stand in the middle of it.” Libra

Vision as an exercise. I like it. I always say, “Your resilience muscle can’t atrophy or else you life’s vision contracts needlessly.”  Haha I just made that up.  So Steve, pick a universe and put your own dent in it, right?

“4”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): Your vision for your personal life is expanding, but think of it as an exercise.” Pisces

A famous non-Steve, Neil Young sings, “… you can’t follow every dream.” Plans and actions to achieve your vision come with price tags — return-on-effort constraints, time delays and resource timing issues.  Just be aware.

“4”  Steve Harvey, 62: “Your plans will change according to cost and other factors.” Capricorn

Triangulation.  I discovered serendipity and synchronicity as signs that I was close to finding decision-makers who could hire me, or at least realized they suffered from the kinds of problems my advice would help them solve as one of my clients. In the executive career world, for instance, it used to be that you were hired for your knowledge.

“4”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69: You’re hearing the same advice from different, unrelated sources. It’s a sign.” Taurus

Then it became you were chosen by who you knew.  That seemed unfair, but when a decision-makers need people they can trust the final choice among many candidates usually came down to this.  

With LinkedIn and Facebook it became what you are known for — what is it your network says about you?  

And, then it became not only what story they may tell about you, but during times of career transitions and downturns and recessions is that story what you want them to tell about you? 

So, in the past you’d search for job openings and fill out applications only to be screened out.  

Now and more so in the future you are expanding your network by telling your story in person and on media platforms so that your brand fits both who you are and what they need.  

And as you meet people you know your are close to achieving your goal when several sources tell you about opportunities and volunteer to refer you in person to the decision-maker.  You become screened-in.

Curse and blessing. That’s how I’d characterize the Holiday Tau for my three favorites, CM&W.  I have a mind.  Is it extraordinary, hardly.  Except in my own mine, haha.  

“2”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: There’s no such thing as an ordinary problem when you’ve an extraordinary mind.” Leo

I describe myself as resourceful — hunting for random parts that could be repurposed to solve a problem.  Screws, hooks, clips, picture framing wire, you name it.  Most often that leads to an okay solution, one that is frequently temporary.  But it at least frees up the rest of my time to devote to my higher priority task at hand. However comma, just ask Emma the Baroness, you can’t say I’d over engineer a solution either, so there’s that.

Is this the antidote to the Cinderella fairy tale re-conceived as The Bachelor? In your twenties, how long is too long for holding out until you meet your mate for life?  

“2” Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61: In relationships, perfection is an impossibility. Reasonable expectations are the magic of life.” Virgo

Should you settle for that perfect someone?  Ask Emma the Baroness, since this answer is above my pay grade.

Image Credit: Scott Fisher, Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate