This year’s version of Sales Summit was another huge success. I’m wrapping up a bit early to catch my flight tomorrow morning and I’m laying in bed digesting the past 40-ish hours… and an insanely delicious meal 😉
I’ve taken so many pages of notes at Summit. Many of the classes I took were focused on leadership and strengths, all very much in line with where my personal focus has been directed recently. As such, there were so many nuggets of insight to process. The task of reviewing it all tomorrow and then parsing it down to a reasonable Top 10 list is going to be wildly difficult. By the end of my last session today my brain was completely and totally full. It was uncomfortable, but in a very good way.
After class the team and I went out for what has become our traditional Sales Summit supper – Brazillian barbeque. I ate way more than I should have and am definitely feeling stuffed now. While it feels a bit uncomfortable it reminds me of how much fun we had as a team. The entire experience seemed to have a sitcom laugh track playing behind it, we were constantly laughing! Talk about an awesome night with my work family! So many fun conversations, jokes, and whatnot. I love my team to death and I overjoyed to have had the opportunity to spend so much time with them joking and laughing like that. So blessed to have each of them around.
Time to lay in bed and digest… or fall right asleep, we’ll see which comes first.
As I prep for bed and conduct my daily ritual of blogging my mind is going in a couple of different directions for my blog. There are a few distinct appreciations which all seem to flow into a common theme. Just a heads up, this is all going to sound familiar as the path is one I’ve traveled recently.
Starting my morning yesterday with an early morning hike with Becky was outstanding. To share time in the woods with her while we both take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors is something I enjoy immensely. Amongst all I do in life this type of activity hovers continually near the top. Not only does it provide moments of awe and wonder leading to extreme presence, but I get to share it with my best friend and soulmate. Doing what we love while sharing in that love together is something I do not take for granted. We are so fortunate to have the common love and appreciation of nature. Those times together hiking the trails, whether exploring a new to us National Park or wandering the same old trail for the ten thousandth time, are one of the ways I re-charge, refresh, and refill my reservoir of energy. By taking that time to the two of us I have the strength and energy to live into my sense of purpose and am much more likely to live more closely into the person I am called to be – it helps me work on the gap. All the while my heart is filled with tremendous joy.
This morning I spent a lot of time with a teammate I haven’t had a ton of one on one time with. The entire experience was incredibly enlightening as well as a ton of fun. I was able to learn so much about her, hear about her motivations, her dreams, and her story. Throughout I kept thinking about how this was exactly where I was supposed to be at that time. Hearing her share her experiences helped me see how we’ve made progress towards living into our purpose while simultaneously providing an opportunity to dream a bigger and better vision of what living that purpose could look like. It was a conversation which will leave lasting fingerprints on our future.
During the day there was a moment in which I took a couple of actions which I would have most likely skipped in the past. Before I could help myself I was leaping into action and unaware of moving myself outside of my comfort zone. The action itself was taken because it was necessary based on purpose, on our why. So many times in the past I’ve taken action more for ego’s sake, if I’m completely honest with myself. This time was 100% for the cause, to protect the purpose. I was reminded afterwards of a comment from Tribal Leadership: the right purpose, the right reason, they work through us. This was a moment in which the purpose warranted action and action was taken immediately. Afterwards a passing conversation in an elevator showed me the importance of the action. Purpose caused necessary action which wouldn’t have otherwise happened.
Purpose, such a powerful thing. It is truly humbling, each time I feel like I’m understanding the power of purpose more I quickly realize how little about the power of purpose I truly know. Each time I start to get a glimpse I quickly see there is so much more than what I am getting a glimpse of. What a beautiful journey this has been and will continue to be!
Today was a work day, right? How in the world did I pack so much in? Wowza!
The day started with an awesome early morning bike with Becky before work – which could, should, and probably will be it’s own blog post in the near future.
My work day was jammed with a couple of planned meetings and an outstanding bonus one. Throw in more than a few times when I felt I was living into my “why” and it was fantastic.
After supper we got the pontoon out on the water for the summer, always one of the best nights of the summer. The entire family took part and enjoyed more outdoors time.
Finishing wrapping up the prep for the next few days of work, play a game with Gavin, and now crash in bed exhausted.
I’m still not quite sure I packed in this much life today, it was amazing! Still a ton to get done over the next few days and a handful of follow ups, but definitely a successful day by any measure.
Type a long blog? Not tonight, I’m exhausted from living – in a very positive way!
It also reminded me of the intent behind my blog, to help me live a more joyful life. Throughout the day I was constantly present and appreciative of so many of these moments. That’s what this was all intended to be about, living a more joyful life and closing the gap.
Last night there was alone of storms north and west of us. They were throwing off more lightning than I’ve ever seen at once. The sky seemed to never go fully dark, there was burst after burst after burst of lighting. After consulting the radar the boys and I loaded up into the car and headed out to Nelson Park, a park at the end of the island from which you can see across Lake Onalaska to the Minnesota bluffs. The light show was amazing!!!
When the storm line was threatening to come closer than we were comfortable with we loaded back up and went home. The boys went inside and I sat out on the deck and soaked it all in. The changing pressure, the wind switching directions, the drop in temperature, and, of course, the lightning. When the rain finally started to fall I went back inside and of of to bed.
What I appreciated the most I was the presence centering focus brought about by the senses of awe and wonder. There was no stress, no desire, no thoughts of the past or present. There was only the focus on being in that moment and soaking up all of the awesomeness around me. The boys were equally as enthralled which only added to my joy. Such a spectacular showing of the power of nature and a profound reminder that presence and joy can be found so much more easily in moments of awe and wonder.
My legs were exceedingly stiff this morning when I rolled out of bed. Running the half had taken a bit of a toll, getting older definitely messes with recovery. What to do with stiff and tired legs? I opted for the nontraditional therapy, I got moving and got in a nice little trail run / hike combo early in the morning.
The first mile was pretty brutal and resulted in some extra stretching on the trail as well as a little bit of swearing. By the second mile the rust had started to break loose and it felt good on the downhills. My third mile found me feeling good enough to run up most of the uphills. The pace was fairly horrific, but it still felt good to get the miles in. One of those feeling the gains through the discomfort type of runs (and when I say “run” this was truly a mash up of jogging and fast hiking).
As was the case last week I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the woods to kick off the morning. Life is so much more calm and easy to manage after getting some time in the forest. Throw in a cacophony of birds and spotting over half a dozen deer and it was pretty amazing. The scents of spring were really kicking in and my nose enjoyed each breath. Ahh…
While I’m going to take the morning off tomorrow to hit the road to work early, I’m certainly looking forward to getting back out for another run on Wednesday morning. Starting off the day with motion always feels fantastic.
What a busy weekend it has been! Yesterday I shared much of the busyness of Saturday, today was almost as busy as yesterday. Thankfully there was still plenty of time to celebrate Mother’s Day too.
This weekend was wild, but there are so many moments of it we’ll remember for years to come. Dominic’s first prom. Gavin’s first day of reffing. Becky’s “Screw You Autoimmune Disease” half marathon. There’s been a lot. Today picked right up where yesterday left off. We had a fun impromptu conversation with friends while grocery shopping. We got home and had time to hear about Dominic’s fun night at prom. After packing lunches we headed to Madison for Gavin’s soccer match and made a pitstop at Natural Bridge State Park. Catch the game, grab ice cream for supper, drive home a couple of hours, wrap up a few things at home, and head off to bed. Busy but a blast.
Throughout the day we celebrated Mother’s Day. Becky’s an awesome mom and the boys always appreciate her, but today they appreciated her a little extra. Seeing them take great care of her makes me smile, seeing her get the appreciation she deserves warms my heart. The boys know how fortunate they are to have a mom who loves and supports the so much.
So many different directions I could have blogged about tonight. Gavin’s first games as a soccer referee and Dominic’s prom both really stick out. I got bonus time with both boys and Becky individually throughout the day.
What I’m most thankful for today was the sense of a mission accomplished. Three years ago Becky had to drop out of running a half marathon as she was feeling the traumatic impact of an autoimmune disease which hadn’t been diagnosed at that time. She wanted to run the half marathon today – the same race she wasn’t able to do three years ago – to prove that her disease couldn’t stop her. She crushed all 13.1 miles of it and crossing the finish line with her was nothing short of awesome. Pure awesomeness, mission accomplished!
Still not sure how the heck we pulled it off, but Becky and I were able to watch our niece pitch in her HS softball game, watch our nephew take a couple of at bats and field a fly ball, and catch Dominic’s 4x400m relay. Everything just happened to work out that the two ball games were literally within 40 yards of each other. They were both done with plenty of time to head 30 minutes away to catch Dominic’s meet. Not too shabby!
So much fun watching them all do their things tonight, I’m grateful for the planets aligning so it could all work out.
Instead of our normal run I opted for waking up a little earlier than usual and went for a hike. The woods were dark when I entered but quickly started to lighten up. The weather was just about perfect and there was no one else on the trail when I started.
Just a little ways into the hike I encountered something I have never experienced. An owl started hooting loudly and almost immediately there was a response from another owl. The hooting then got more intense, more rapid, and higher pitched. There was just enough light that I could make out the shape of one owl flying towards another on a branch. Both owls spread their wings to increase the size and they were so close together I could not make out where one stopped and the other started. Within a second the one on the branch took off like a shot and the other took its place. The one that had flown was easily trackable against the dark blue pre-dawn sky and I watched as it settled into a new location. It was awesome!!! I could not believe the luck I had to see such an event.
I then walked up and down the valleys while listening to both the bird songs and their echoes. The sound bounced and resonated through the coulees and added a little extra beauty to the music. I was surprised to hear the changes in the types of birds as the minutes ticked by, it was almost like each species had their own alarms set.
Along the path I scared up a deer. He was well off the trail by the time I saw him. I slowed my pace and was rewarded with an encounter with two more deer, neither or which were startled. It seems as if they know there was no threat to them from me and we spent a few seconds just enjoying the sight of each other before I got back to my trail and they slowly walked and ate.
The woodpeckers all kicked in at about 5:35 and were going hardcore for a good 10-15 minutes. There were at least three different types based on what I saw and observed with their pecking patterns and sounds. A few times I just paused and watched them go to town on top of a dead tree, so entranced by watching them do what woodpeckers were made to do. I was lost in a state of awe watching their heads pile drive into the tree over and over again in rapid succession while also remembering that their tongues wrap around their brains to provide extra cushion. That’s legit, look it up 🙂
By the time I’d reached the top of the bluff and started heading down the sun was up and the woods were as light as ever. Thinking I had enjoyed pretty much all I would see I was left in quite the state of shock when I came across three different deer. They were also not at all spooked by me and took their time crossing the trail. We slowly watched each other as we went our separate ways, me descending, they heading up the bluff. In many ways it felt like going to church, seeing and acknowledging the people you know by sight and haven’t had a conversation with, but you’ve always both smiled at each other. We shared what seemed to be an acknowledgement of each others company, four beings enjoying the wonder of the woods.
My morning was so enriched by the time in the woods. The sights, the sounds, the smells, all of my senses except taste enjoyed the journey. Throughout the day there was a different level of calm I carried with me, a peace which can only be found by spending time in the woods.
I was so struck by it that I used my lunch time as an opportunity to hike a very short distance into the bluffs near my office, put up my hammock, relax and eat lunch, enjoy more of the woods, and then head back to the office in almost exactly 60 minutes. That extra dose of the outdoors time only enhanced my day further.
Late in the morning some friends were texting about current affairs and all I could do was laugh. I responded with a text sharing that I feel like I’m living in a different world and shared all I had seen in my morning hike. I can only imagine so many of the ills of our world would be slowly solved over generations if we all paused to get outside and experience a sense of awe in the outdoors. I know, I’m totally biased on this one, but there are so many wonderful benefits to being outside more often. This was proven to me multiple times today.
So many incredible experiences seemingly in my own backyard on an early morning hike. What a perfect way to start the day!
Hmm… Many different options and ideas for today’s blog. Not sure any of them are specifically ready to hatch, but who knows, this is sometimes where the fun happens!
First off, I’ve had many memories in mind of a past vacation out to the Pacific coast in Washington. The beach there was epic, one of my top 10 favorite beaches. The landscape was unlike anything I’d ever seen in real life (and then we saw something similar in Cathedral Cove, NZ). So beautiful, one of my happy places for sure.
Having the opportunity to spend time with a thought leader can be very enlightening on so many levels. Even if I’ve heard the story before I’m always appreciative of an opportunity to learn from Marlene Chism. She did an excellent job of sharing the concepts from her new book on a webinar for pretty sizable number of our clients today. One of the reasons I love Marlene so much is her openness and candor, there is so much to learn from her.
Digging deeper into strengths and how to best work with my teammates has been top of mind all year. As I review some interesting next steps I’m grateful for the opportunity I have to read, learn, and review past experiences to apply to the teammates of today. I’m blessed to be surrounded by some incredible people each day, I’m excited to see them continue their growth.
Throw in an awesomely peaceful morning run, the promise of a hike early tomorrow morning, a dinner outside, and an evening with moments shared with each of my family and it’s been a stellar day all around. So much to be thankful for!