Author Archives: dcthmpsn

Before I Die I Want To…

Originally posted by Dave Thompson on work blog, September 14, 2012

Of all the people I thought would support me in my dreams & goals, I wouldn’t have even considered JCPenny to be in that group. But then they spammed me recently with a “You’re Not Dreaming” email. Maybe my interpretation is a bit different than what their marketing department had in mind, but I couldn’t believe that JCPenny had focused on me long enough and thought “Dave has stopped dreaming”. Grrrrr. If JCPenny can see it there must be some truth to it. Gotta do something about that! I took it as a challenge, reviewed my dream list and ended up adding 3 new dreams last weekend!!

We all have highs & lows and periods of distractions & focus. It’s so important not to lose focus on our goals and short- & long-term plans for too long. If you need a burst of energy and want to see examples of what people all over the world have on their “dream lists” then check out the video of the “Before I die I want to” TED talk by Candy Chang.

Here’s a quote from the video:

“Two of the most valuable things we have are time and our relationships with other people. In our age of increasing distractions it’s more important than ever to find ways to maintain perspective and remember that life is brief and tender…preparing for death is one of the most empowering things you can do. Thinking about death clarifies your life…shared spaces can better reflect what matters to us as individuals and as a community; with more ways to share our hopes, fears, and stories, people around us not only help us make better places, they help us lead better lives.”

Before I die I want to __________

How would you fill in that blank? What’s the one thing you would write on that line?

Write it down. Tell somebody about it. Pause. Reflect.

Ok…what’s stopping you from doing it??? Get moving before JCPenny sends you a reminder!!!

Here are a few more related links to Candy’s TED topic:

p.s. Seems like JCPenny took note of my recent re-focus on dreaming again – this week’s email is”Denim: More Choices than ever” 😉

Punkin Chunkin – Dream Squashers

Originally posted by Dave Thompson on work blog, July 26, 2012

So who watches Modern Family? I don’t on a regular basis but a friend of mine (who I introduced to creating a list of dreams) told me I had to watch the “Punkin Chunkin” epsiode. In this episode the families end up pitting the “dreamers” vs. the “Pritchetts” (“Pritchett” is a family name on this show). The dreamers see their dreams repeatedly squashed throughout this show by the “practical Pritchetts” which culminates in a bet about whether a pumpkin can be launched across a football field into the sunroof of a car. The dreamers initially fail but then the Pritchetts rally to revive the dream. There are some great quotes from this episode:

  • “There are dreamers and there are realists in this world. You’d think the dreamers would find the dreamers and the realists would find the realists but more often than not the opposite is true. You see the dreamers need the realists to keep them from soaring too close to the sun. And the realists, well, without the dreamers, they might not ever get off the ground.“;
  • “You squelch me right when I’m about to soar…Don’t let these negative nellies drag you down.”;
  • “Here we have the skeptics, the dream squashers, the Pritchetts. Here we have the dreamers, the artists, the visionaries. Let’s settle this, Dreamers vs. Pritchetts.”;
  • (while defending squashing other people’s dreams) “If we didn’t do this to them the world would.”

I don’t know that I would have chosen those exact words…but I think so much of this is true. I’m a Pritchett (with some Dreamer tendencies every so often). I squash my own dreams (too much money; too impractical; too much time focused on me). Can anyone relate? Or are any of you dreamers that struggle with how to move forward or stay focused? It was hard for me to list 100 dreams – and really hard for me to list the fun, impractical, “there’s no way I can ever do that” dreams. But it’s so key to create your list without filtering or censoring your dreams. If you think it, write it. Add it to your list. Don’t worry about money, time, etc – not yet. Tweak your list. Add to it. Tweak it. Repeat. See what bubbles to the top. And then (this is where you need a Pritchett to help you) choose steps (small steps are fine too) towards making those dreams happen.

The world needs the Dreamers and the Pritchetts. We feed off each other. It’s all of us working together and sharing our dreams and ideas that keeps the world fun and full of and energy and makes great things happen all around us. So…who wants to help me chunk some pumpkins later on?

Being You and Being Cool With That

Originally posted by Dave Thompson on work blog, June 22, 2012

My company had a “Global Corporate Challenge” a few years ago as part of a wellness program. I think they had it right by challenging us every so often. One weekend the challenge was to beat your personal best step count. So how about a dream challenge too?

I challenge you to add 3 dreams to your dream or goal list TODAY

What? You don’t have a dream list started? Then you’ve got it easy. The Dream Manager, by Matthew Kelly, is one such simple framework that suggests 12 categories for your dreams (physical, emotional, material, intellectual, spiritual, psychological, professional, financial, creative, adventure, character and legacy). Write your dreams down wherever you want – and don’t hold back – don’t censor your dreams – don’t think about all the reasons you can’t do something or why it doesn’t belong on your dream list. There’s plenty of time to tweak your list later on. I’ve found several times that I wasn’t sure why I was writing down an initial dream (or I thought I knew the primary reason) only for the true purpose behind it to become clear later on – get those out of your head and on paper and give those dreams a chance. Do it now! Trust the journey.

It’s so easy to doubt our own dreams. It’s your list – you don’t have to share it – at least not all of it (but you’ll find that sharing dreams gives them power). Neil Pasricha does a TED talk on the Three A’s of Awesome (Attitude, Awareness, and Authenticity). You can watch the talk to see his “awesome” examples, have a few laughs and hear his important message about how short life can be and why we all need to enjoy life now. I love his points on authenticity which he sums up as “being you and being cool with that” – that’s what our dreams are all about. He gives an example of Rosey Grier who, in addition to being on the “Fearsome Foursome” as a professional football defensive linesman, also published a book titled, Rosey Grier’s Needlepoint for Men. That’s definitely being comfortable in your own skin and following your heart! Here’s a final quote from Neil…have fun, dream big, and let me know when you’ve added 3 dreams to your list this weekend:

If you feel that sense of wonder and beauty in all the tiny joys in life then you’re part of an international band of old souls and optimists, smiling on sidewalks, dancing at weddings, and flipping to the other side of the pillow. Let’s all high five and keep thinking wild thoughts, dreaming big dreams, and laughing loud laughs.

3 Levels of Happiness

Originally posted by Dave Thompson on work blog, June 1, 2012

I cut out a Mother Goose & Grimm cartoon from last week’s comics where a jar of glue is laying on a psychiatrist’s couch. The psychiatrist says to the jar of glue, “You should stop getting attached to material things.”

Can anyone relate? Those things & toys & must-have-it-nows fall into one of the classic dream categories (Material), and they often bring us instant pleasure and are easy to scratch off our dream lists – so go for it, buy, buy, buy and put a smile on your face right now!

But beware that your smile will likely fade sooner than you would like…and if you don’t have a game plan in life you may quickly be in search of the next purchase to make you feel happy again. This may be easier to see in others than in yourself – think of those around you who may be in this pattern. Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos), in his great book Delivering Happiness, defines 3 levels of happiness…pleasure, passion, and higher purpose. Guess which one he calls the “rock star” type of happiness (i.e., it’s hard to sustain unless you’re living the life of a rock star) and is the shortest lasting? Yep, pleasure – once the stimuli are gone the happiness level drops immediately. Passion happiness (characterized as “being in the zone” or “when time flies by”) lasts even longer, and higher purpose happiness, lasts the longest yet. Tony suggests most of us are doing it backwards, and that to achieve long term happiness we should start with pursuing our higher purpose, layer passion on top of that, and have that drive our pleasure happiness.

If only that were as easy as it sounds – but I get his point. We all want happiness, but far too often we make short-term decisions in the pursuit of happiness that may not align with (and could rob from) our long-term passion & higher purpose. So…create your dream list…100 dreams (yes, creating a list of this many dreams should really force you beyond your comfort zone)…look at that list, reflect on it…see if you can get a glimpse of your passion & higher purpose in life, and then you won’t have to worry so much about how long your latest new “toy” will keep you happy 🙂

Make your own d@mn sandwiches

Originally posted by Dave Thompson on work blog, May 22, 2012

Maybe some of you have heard this one before…

A story about Mike, who visited Seattle, and encountered an old priest who got up early every morning, made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, walked downtown, and gave them to the homeless. Mike was moved by the old priest’s good deeds. So when he got home Mike wrote the priest a check and sent it to him, saying it was to help his ministry. A few weeks later Mike got the check back in the mail with a note written on the check – “Make your own d@mn sandwiches.”

This applies to so many things in life! It’s often way too easy to “write a check” when instead we should get in touch with the details of life and work. It’s about getting involved, getting connected, and making conscious decisions. We need to work with others, get our hands dirty, make a difference, and experience life.

Watch out for all those around you. Listen to others. REALLY listen. Create some dreams that involve staying in touch with people around you and REALLY connecting with them. You never know when that could make all the difference in the world. So, cherish today, plan for tomorrow, be intentional with your dreams and your purpose in life, and let’s all start making our own d@mn sandwiches:

  • explore your dreams;
  • write them down (100 is the goal!);
  • commit to achieving them by taking steps every day

Let me know how I can help with those dreams.

Kevin Eikenberry – pinterest – inspirational pics & videos

Originally posted by Dave Thompson on work blog, May 14, 2012 (note: I posted this before I was actively using Pinterest):

Kevin Eikenberry describes himself as a “Leadership Expert, Speaker, Consultant, Author, Trainer, Father, Husband, Leader, Learner. Proud son of a farmer, lover of John Deere green and yellow and Purdue black and gold. You are Remarkable!“. Ok, so I’m a bit biased by a Purdue grad, but please keep reading. He proposes that Pinterest (a popular online pinboard) can be used to add value to our personal and business lives. I’ve always loved that core to The Dream Manager (by Matthew Kelly) is the same postive, energizing connection between the dreams we are chasing personally and the way we engage at work – we need to be engaged in all aspects of our lives.

Here’s a link from Kevin Eikenberry to motivational quotes & pictures – it’s hard to find any of these that I couldn’t apply to each of us pursuing our dreams – enjoy! I’m still working on picking my favorite quote (and his list keeps growing) – what’s your favorite?

Although I originally wrote this in 2012, fast forward to May 2015. I’ve been actively using Pinterest for about three years now. I use it to post positive quotations on a few topics (e.g., motivation and suicide awareness/support). Pinterest is an amazing tool that has the power to very simply connect people. I have used it a bit at work to help people share their dreams and goals, but it is hard for people to really take it seriously in the work place. I would love to see more applications of this as “dream boards” where people can get support and accountability for anything they want to achieve in life. Enjoy all of my positive quotes:

Do Less to Do More

Originally posted by Dave Thompson on work blog, May 6, 2012:

I liked this quote from a book I recently read (Less: Accomplishing More by Doing Less, by Marc Lesser) and personally see how this absolutely relates to the focus that my dream list provides to me:

To accomplish more by doing less involves a simple yet profound transformation: it’s a different way of being in the world. You may, in fact, be no less busy, but you will be less scattered and distracted, and you will accomplish more of what matters to you: more of what aligns with your deepest purpose and intention; more of what brings you satisfaction and connection with others; more of what you believe really needs to get done. Doing less and accomplishing more is about aligning your actions with your values and your particular passions. And finally, by becoming more peaceful and at peace with yourself, you will spread that into the world, which will become that much more peaceful and sane as a result.

So who else has a dream list of 100 dreams? I do. Can you relate to this quote? I can. Taking the time to create and refine your dream list will have a profound impact on your life – trust me. It does. Creating a dream list will provide focus in ways you can’t yet imagine. Trust me.

Get Moving

Originally posted by Dave Thompson on work blog, April 20, 2012:

I read a book recently called What I Learned When I Almost Died by Chris Licht. He is the executive producer of Morning Joe on MSNBC and had a sudden brain hemorrhage. They never ended up figuring out the cause or why the bleeding stopped – yikes! I thought this was a great quote from him and something we should all consider as we define the dreams we want to chase in life (I also thought it was funny how he referenced bucket lists):

“My brain bleed was an official public notice that no one can count on having the time that they expect. If you’re ready and capable, reach for the next level of whatever you do. If something looks appealing and challenging, have a go. Otherwise, it’s a pretty average life. I haven’t wondered so far into the realm of cliché that I now have a bucket list – win Iditarod, excavate Mayan ruins, stomp grapes – but I’m far more open to spontaneity. You sometimes hear that illness is a way of telling the victim to slow down. That’s not the message my illness sent me. Mine said, “Get moving.” What happened to me was an unsolicited, but invaluable reminder that none of us gets to choose how many days we have. Everybody’s supply is limited, some far more than others. There are no hours to be wasted on anger at an illness that is not your fault. There are none to be wasted on anxiety about who says what about you or whether they like you. These things are beyond your power of influence. What you can control, though, is how you use the unknowable amount of time you have. And if you choose not to invest in the uncontrollable and the trivial, something wonderful happens. You actually wind up with more time: more to enjoy family and friends and colleagues, more to keep yourself sane, more to appreciate simply being here.

Take advantage of wake-up calls in your life or in those around you. If you’ve never had a close encounter with a wake-up call then count your blessings…but don’t wait for a wake-up call to get your butt in gear. All any of us has guaranteed is today. Create some focus in your life by creating a list of goals or dreams. I love that the quote above references finding time to enjoy all of those around you. We all need to watch out for people we love that are around us. Pay attention. Listen. Enjoy today. Cherish the journey. Get moving!