Responsive Conference 2019

I’m heading to Responsive Conference this week. The future of work, employee and customer experience, culture, change management, ethics, etc. are on my mind.

Learning Ninjas was founded on the principle of collaboration, giving back, and creating opportunities for everyone to learn. I often struggle to find the words to describe what I do, what I want to do, and my vision for how we do it. So, I’m embarking on a new learning adventure to improve my communication skills, specifically writing and speaking (special thanks to Wendy Wickham for inspiring me!).

I want to learn more about the human condition, empathy, psychology, and nature. I want to explore how we can create positive change in our workplaces and play spaces and ensure we protect this amazing planet. These are challenging times, and I maintain hope for our future. Be kind to each other. Try to keep an open mind. You don’t know what someone else’s experience has been. Learn how to support each other.

Be good.

Peace and love, y’all.

Outrage and Inaction

I read a lot of articles. I watch John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” – the free feature edition – on YouTube. I consume NextDraft and share articles that strike a nerve on Twitter and Facebook. I hope the sharing enlightens some folks. I like and follow progressive accounts on social media. I show my friends I’m “Interested” in some events. I retweet activist posts. I share good stories from The Advocates for Human Rights, feminist groups, investigative reporters, and other groups.

However, I rarely DO anything.

Until recently, I had not marched. I had not attended a protest or a rally. I had not taken part in Pride. I had not spoken with my kids about difficult topics often enough. I had not reached out to friends I knew I had hurt or I could learn from. I had not completely acknowledged and taken accountability for my own bad behavior.

In short, I had not been an ally.

Then, I decided to change. I decided to take action and not make excuses. I don’t know if it’s helping anyone else, but it is certainly helping me. I am learning more about the things I thought I knew enough about. I am learning how to listen. I am learning how to be a better ally.

Rather than consuming article after article and sitting in a chair stewing over the latest John Oliver feature, I decided to take action. Equality Texas held a rally to protest and support different bills in the Texas legislature a few months ago. I made a decision to go. To take part. To learn. It was an excellent experience. While we may not have won all the battles (if “winning” is even the right term here), but we demonstrated, we put some political staff on the spot and made them answer difficult questions, and we showed people who are being discriminated against that they had allies.

This weekend, I attended my first Pride event. I marched with the ACLU of Texas in Houston’s Pride Parade. I met beautiful people. I cheered. They cheered. We carried signs. We gave people a voice. We showed people they have allies. We took action.

I encourage you to do the same. It’s so much more rewarding to do something for the people or a cause you support, rather than share an article or like a post. It’s going to take a lot of us taking a lot of action to get us out of our current state of existence in this country and across this planet. People need our help.

I am reminded of this quote I shared last year:

“I slept and dreamt life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.”

bilaliism

Finding your joy through service and action will certainly bring joy to someone else who desperately needs and deserves it.

Peace and love, y’all.

Looking at the stars

20 Things I’m Thankful For

As we head into the holiday season (or the “season of stuff”, as many smart folks call it), I had an idea to take some time to reflect on some things I’m thankful for. I haven’t written as much as I’d like to, so this will also be some good, committed practice for me. Each day for 20 days, I will write a post about something I’m thankful for, and share it. As I add new posts, I’ll update this one with links.

If you’re reading this post, you have plenty to be thankful for (your vision, the internet, time), but probably some stuff you wish you could change. The stuff we don’t like is the easiest to talk about because it’s easy to complain and most of your friends will listen and nod and say, “I know, right?”. I’m no different. I may even be worse than most. It probably depends on who you ask.

Regardless, I challenge you to focus on what you’re thankful for for a few weeks. Spend some time reflecting on your life, your business, your relationships, and write about it. You don’t have to publish it, but I do encourage you to write it down. You can write letters to the folks you’re thankful for or just keep a little journal for a few weeks.

If you decide to publish anything, please let me know in the comments or via the form.

Cheers!


  1. WordPress
  2. Rugby
  3. Music
  4. Coffee
Switzerland Picture from Unsplash

Thanksgiving 2014

A few things I’m thankful for this year:

  • Great friends and family who support me and encourage me
  • Clients who are a pleasure to work with and for to achieve success
  • Incredible technology that enables me to work whenever and wherever I want, and to connect to people like never before
  • Web services that simplify and automate my business and my life
  • Digital music – Sampling, sharing, learning, and buying has never been easier.
    • Especially Electric Worry by Clutch
  • WordPress – I blog with it. I create with it. I build with it. It’s become essential.
  • Freedom
  • Challenges
  • Live music – I’ve been to more concerts in the last three months than in the last five years combined, and love it.
  • Causes – Helping the L3 Foundation has been an amazing experience. The Knight Cancer Challenge is almost at 100% funding. Kiva, Small Can Be Big. And so many others.
  • Rugby
  • My adult co-ed rec league soccer team and league
  • Shiner Bock
  • Whiskeys named by years – 1792, 1835…
  • Motorcycles
  • Travel

I’ve forgotten a few things, but you get the point. We all have a lot to be thankful for. Embrace it.

Cheers.


Links for this post:

“Electric Worry” – Clutch
L3 Foundation
Knight Cancer Challenge
Kiva
Small Can Be Big
1792 Bourbon