The Power of Sparkle


A sparkling view from my home.

You’ve heard of Personal Power, PowerBars and The Power of Now, but have you ever heard of The Power of Sparkle?

Neither had I, until I stumbled upon it a few years ago.

Five years ago, a book I had co-edited that would help me launch a business, was released.  The only problem was, I couldn’t decide in which direction I wanted to take my business.  There were at least five possible directions, all with different target markets, products and services, but every possible direction was filled with an infinite number of unanswerable “What if...” questions.

It was impossible to know the answer to any of these questions without first taking enough steps in one direction to begin unraveling the “what if’s”, but I couldn’t even decide on a first step.

I was stuck.

One night, while looping around in my head with all the possible choices, I thought back to all the biggest decisions I had made in my life and put them into one of two categories: Good Decisions / Bad Decisions.  Both lists were short.  On the surface, there didn’t seem to be a difference between the two lists.  Even the Good Decisions had times that were unpleasant, super-challenging or unrewarding. 

But, I noticed that even during the bad times of the Good Decisions, I was still happy with the choice I had made.  Not so with the Bad Decisions. 

With the Bad Decisions, I could recognize some of the good learning and character-building that came from those decisions, but, looking backwards, I wished I had made a different decision.  Though I didn’t want to admit it, the Bad Decisions contained a tiny twinge of regret.

Knowing that I didn’t want to make another big decision that years later became known as a Bad Decision, I thought about what was different when I actually made the Good Decision vs. the Bad Decision.  I realized there was only one thing:

Sparkle.

Every Good Decision felt “sparkly” to me as I was contemplating the choice.   I was drawn to it.  Just thinking about the choice made me feel alive.  It wasn’t that I didn’t have doubts or questions or what if’s, but the idea of saying no, was too painful to even consider: it had a power bigger than me.

Not so with the Bad Decisions.

With the Bad Decisions, there was nothing on the surface that seemed wrong or bad about the choices. They seemed practical.  Acceptable. Solid.  But, I didn’t feel “sparkly”.  I picked the Bad Decisions because they seemed like the right thing to do.

So, I decided to use this as my guide.  I decided that for one year, my theme word would be Sparkle. I would experiment with every business idea by speaking at various conferences and I would pay attention to the events that felt sparkly. I decided that I'd move closer to everything that felt sparkly, and away from things that didn't.

I spoke at twelve conferences over the course of eleven months on topics like: workforce analytics, employee engagement, employee retention and strategic HR.   Each was interesting, but they all landed a little bit flat.  No one asked me for more information.  No one wanted to continue the conversation.  Everyone just thanked me for my time and politely walked away. 

By November of that year, I was tired and disheartened, and I was beginning to think that starting a business would be a Bad Decision.

By December, I had one conference left: a coaching conference.

I had never spoken at a coaching conference before and I had no idea what to expect. On a whim, I had completed the application to speak at that conference earlier in the year.  I remember randomly completing the application and I was even surprised they invited me to speak.

When I got to the room where I was speaking, I discovered I’d be up on a stage. With a microphone. On a podium. And, a giant screen behind me. With a few hundred people in attendance. 

First, I had a brief freak-out moment.

And then,…. I found it.  My sparkle.  During my talk, I could tell I was giving the attendees information they wanted.  I felt useful!  I felt alive! And, we were all having fun together!  At the end of my talk, there was a long line of people waiting to talk some more.  I collected business cards. Lots of business cards.  And lots of requests to continue the conversation.  I couldn’t stop smiling.

But, just to make sure I got the magic universal message this was the direction I was meant to pursue, after nearly everyone had left the room, one person approached me and asked me to sit down and talk. First, he invited me to speak at an international conference in Europe. And then, he offered me my first consulting project…. In Italy.

That’s the power of sparkle: it lights the way you should go and makes it impossible for you to say "no". 

© 2014 Lisa Ann Edwards 

Breakfast for Dinner at Old Country Buffet

We had a coupon for OCB good on a weeknight only. We usually avoid Thursday nights at OCB because it is Kids Eat for $1.99 night and while we like kids, we don't like kids running wildly around the restaurant completely unsupervised by their parents, but in the last several weeks - maybe longer Old Country Buffet has been sending emails saying that they serve breakfast at dinner on Thursday

Football for dummies, from dummies

Hello late night  viewers of Indian TeleShopping channels!
You are in for a treat. Throughout this month, you can also watch football! But be warned, football is a dangerous contact sport. You could easily get bored, sleep off and fall from the couch making contact with the floor and hurting your head. Yes, football is that dangerous a contact sport.

Okay, Okay! It is not like we don't know about football in India. India has produced many famous footballers, who through their amazing skill and years of training have beaten all odds to become T.V anchors in post game shows that telecast at 2.00 AM. I am talking about John Abraham.

Yet, Indians remain largely ignorant of football. So, I am going to teach you how to play the beautiful game in this post. But a caveat, I played football just once and long time back. Football might have changed a lot since then. It might have got even more boring.

So, without much further ads, here we go.

LEARN TO PLAY FOOTBALL IN FIVE EASY STEPS.

STEP 1: Get yourself a tattoo.
It might be a tad difficult to find tattoo parlours in India . They are hidden in posh neighbourhoods, between pastery shops that sell donuts (also known as sweet vada) and rental libraries that charge more than the cost of the book. You can search for the nearest tattoo parlour in JustDial, India's number one local search engine. (disclaimer: I own this stock) The nearest tattoo parlour to my house is in Mumbai, 1000 kms away. (Flash news: I have just exited JustDial) Anyway, it may not be a bad idea to couple your grocery shopping also, if you are going to go that far.

STEP 2: Spike your hair.
This should be easier than tattoo parlours. All you need is some gel. You might not even need to get out of the house. If you don't know what I am talking about, watch the movie 'There's something about Mary.' You know what, watch the movie even if you do know what I am talking about. It is better than watching John Abraham in the post game show and God forbid, watching the football game itself.

STEP 3: Buy some football jerseys
Football jerseys can be quiet costly. To get jerseys at bargain prices, go to the platform shops around the railway station in your city. Search for jerseys that say 'Manchestar Unighted' , 'Joowentas', 'Baygon munich'. They tend to be the cheapest.

STEP 4: Get a beer and sit in front of your T.V
If you are an Appy Fizz kind of guy, it is okay too. But when you tell others about it, remember to pronounce Appy fizz as K-I-NG-FI-SHER. (Practise the pronunciation NOW!)

Congratulations! If you have come this far, you are the most experienced footballer of India. You are even better than John Abraham.

STEP 5: Watch a FIFA 2014 football match
This is the most difficult step. For one thing, it starts late in the night, like 9:30 PM. I know! But still, remember your goal: you want to learn to play football. Sip Appy Fizz (pronounced K-I-NG-FI-SHER) in little quantities to kill the time till the world cup match starts. Once the match starts, observe closely which teams are playing, what jerseys they are wearing and the names of important players. (Important players have more spikes and more tattoos)

Pay attention to how they are running around and around and around without ever coming in contact with the ball. Congratulations! You have learnt to play football!! You are even probably the best football player in India.

You can continue to watch the football match, but if you are feeling sleepy at any time, you can surf around and watch more interesting programs.
Like TeleShopping channel.

Temporary New Article Schedule

New articles will be running every other week with the next new buffet article appearing next week. This schedule will continue on a temporary basis for a few months and I will then make a decision whether I have enough new material to write about on a weekly basis again or continue longer on this new schedule. If something comes up that is timely I may post that in between, so look for articles

Great care for one sick man Hospital care and treatment is great

Well, I'm finally home went to the hospital for a check on what was troubling me and 7 days later they let me come home , It turns I had a bad infection in my kidneys and bladder and was causing a fever and headache too soooo in the room they put me hooked me up to a few IV's and started me on hospital food , Ciejay stayed with me every night and most of the day except when she went home and cooked care packages for me , I have to say that having her there with me was like having a angel in the room she knew what I need ed before I even ask , I was in a lot of pain for the first five days and needed her soft prayers and support to help me make it thru the night ., and I always felt the presents of the Lord round about , lots of folks were praying and they filled the room , Thanks to those who remembered to pray, it made a difference. Home now, they sent me home, for home care and support , and a round of Meds for 7 more days and then back for another check-up. Feeling 99.99% now and am sure everything will be just fine . I took a couple shots of the room ( PTL they had a private room for us, a/c ,tv, private bath meals and private nurse and a place for Ciejay to sleep and rest ), the first 2 days was on a hard bed pad , and I felt like i was on the torture rack with William Wallace , finally they brought me a air bed and with a big shout I closed my eyes and cried FREEDOM along with William




Rules of the Buffet

Once again, for the new buffet goers - and for the old timers -

RULES OF THE BUFFET

1. All you can eat is not a challenge. It is an offer!

2. There is no limit to the number of times that you can go up and get food.

3. Take your food in courses - as you would be served if ordering from a menu.

4. Everyone must pay!

5. No food is permitted to be taken out of the restaurant.

6. Take only

Just some thoughts

The schools have reopened this week. My kid doesn't want to go to school. He wants to continue in summer camp. I had to explain him the difference between regular school and summer camp : one costs a lot of money and doesn't teach anything and the other costs a lot of money and doesn't teach anything but only runs in summer.
At school, my kid got his first homework today : I have to make a chart on places of worship.

My kid is almost seven. So I have decided to teach him survival skills. This week, I will teach him about Google search and cut & paste. I will take it up a notch next week  - go to the field. I will teach him to pick the fastest queue at grocery and withdraw cash from ATM.

Since the last time I posted, BJP has swept to power. On results day, the TV anchors were all talking in hyperbole:  Modi Wave, Modi Tsunami. It was all great. But shouldn't a wave and Tsunami hit the coastal areas? Should it not cause maximum damage in Tamil Nadu, Orissa and West Bengal? 
Hmmph!!

Even before the election indelible ink could disappear from my thumb, Modi's Government has embarked on its divisive agenda of article 370. Do you realize what it shows?

Well, for one thing it shows that I need to take bath more often.