It’s a simple strategy that kids use all the time to get what they want

Photo by Christopher Carson on Unsplash

They asked for a pig. What they really wanted was a snake…

Negotiate and Compromise Like a Kid

At one time, we had almost a dozen snakes in our house. We had corn snakes, several ball pythons, and a hognose, which I later found out was illegal in Illinois without proper certification.

My wife nor I was thrilled with the idea, but yet it happened. We approved it. It didn’t take me too long after the first snake came into our house that I realized we were outmaneuvered by a fourteen-year-old. …


Simplicity and focusing on what really matters is the key to develop a winning organization

“Management of Complexity” by michael.heiss is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

We purchased an elliptical exercise machine about 4 years ago. It wasn’t even for me. This was for my daughter, who used it regularly for a time, and then the workout sessions became increasingly infrequent. In time, she all but abandoned it.

Enter a global pandemic that forced us all indoors. I was determined to maintain my weight and wanted an option to meet my fitness goals when I couldn’t get outside. I decided it was time to dust off that elliptical, lubricate its pedal rails, and put us both to work.

The use of podcasts and audiobooks helped to…


It’s all those signs of return and renewal that awakens our souls and gladdens our hearts

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Walking in the woods today, it felt like spring wanted to explode from the earth and the sky.

This is near literal terms as I see green shoots beginning to emerge through the dead, brown underbrush. It was only a few days ago when deep blankets of snow pressed relentlessly upon these places.

As I walk, navigating through wetland areas, some are natural ponds, others are temporary holding basins where the melting snow collects into shallow pools. One is attractive enough for a couple of mallard pairs to potch around in. …


Those occasions where we find ourselves within a split second of being a statistic

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Ding ding ding…

It’s the familiar sound of the railroad crossing bells. The house where I lived at that time was just a stone’s throw from the tracks. We were about 15-minutes from downtown Chicago, so there was never-ending railway traffic. Freight trains at night, commuter Metra trains regularly passed during the rush-hours and semi-regularly from before daybreak until just after midnight. An Amtrak passenger train would speed past that Irving Park station in a silver-blue blur of entitlement now and then. They carried real travelers. The other trains hauled freight cargo, livestock, and weary working-class.

Ding ding ding…

I…


FOOD

It’s one way to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Ox

“Oxtails for soup” by mmmyoso is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

When I was a kid, it was pretty common to have oxtail soup or oxtail stew on the weekend. Some people enjoy their oxtails braised. It was once a cheap, depression-era food. American butchers were quick to toss the beef tails out. People desperate for meat made it work by cooking the cuts for lengthy periods of time. Hence the weekend preparation of the meal.

The bones make for a very hearty, protein-rich broth. In the past several years, oxtail has become something of a trend. You'll see it more often in upscale restaurants. …


It’s easier to pick up the reading pace than you think

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“The road to knowledge begins with the turn of a page.”
Abby Marks Beale, 10 Days to Faster Reading

I was shocked to read that prolific writer and author Ryan Holiday is a slow reader. At least, it’s what he says in a recent article. He declares one of his goals for this year is to read one-hundred books.

People assume that Holiday is a speed reader based on the vast number of book recommendations he lists in his newsletter. Not only does he claim to be a slow reader, but he purposefully reads at a slower pace. …


Our relationship with food is always going to be a war, but winning some strategic battles can make a difference in the end

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It took me some time to forgive myself, or I should say forgive my behavior. Isn’t that today’s new practice? Self-forgiveness, being gentle with ourselves? Oh, and that other one—exercising regular gratitude.

Well, I sure was grateful for that chocolate-covered donut I devoured last night. At least I felt gratitude for about thirty seconds before that feeling turned instantly to one of abject shame.

And it’s always the same pattern. Justification. Momentary satisfaction. Shame. The thing is, I otherwise keep a pretty healthy lifestyle. I’m not what you would consider overweight. And I’m generally very disciplined when it comes to…


The best I can achieve is 99%, which makes me wonder if I should give up on that goal

Photo Courtesy of Author

I can’t even write a simple headline and subhead without triggering the little alert suggestions popping up in my Grammarly app.

In my example above, I could get the extra point to get me to 100%. But that would mean I’d have to insert a period at the end of a title. I’m not going to do that. I will suffer the 99%, as not to break the fundamental rules of format structure.

Don’t get me wrong — I really love how the Grammarly tool has changed my life. I recently gave myself a gift of upgrading to Grammarly’s Premium…


Techniques you can start using today to realize new potential tomorrow

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The people who are doing the best to get through the last year of quarantine are challenging themselves to learn something new.

Whether it be learning another language, taking up an instrument, or jumping into a new hobby, stimulating our brains is a great way to redirect our focus from much of the external gloom and doom surrounding us and threatening our well-being. It doesn’t hurt to binge-watch an extraordinary new television series either, but those who can find a balance likely feel happier and better adjusted to these unsettled times.

I wrote a recent article offering some great learning…


When a vital business relationship assumes you share in their political allegiance

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Again with the lunchtime political discussions. Now I need to start that waltz again. It’s a dance I’ve perfected over time. I’m getting good at it too. Very good.

Every time I meet with these owners, the company we partner with to fulfill our logistics needs, the discussion invariably turns to politics. It’s awkward because I share nothing with them when it comes to this topic. Somehow, these guys have it in their heads that I’m completely on board with them. That I’m aligned with their way of thinking.

If only they knew how opposed I am to many of…

Jim Farina

Serving only the freshest, organic content. Writing prepared with the best quality ingredients, easy to digest and shareable. jimfarina @att.net

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