Expectations on Beauty

It’s ALWAYS rubbed me the wrong way when people equate beauty with having a loving relationship or worse, deserving one. Maybe it makes sense if the external beauty is a reflection of inner beauty… but so many times it’s not. And beauty is in the eye of the beholder anyway…. at least that’s what the quote says… there’s a golden ratio that has stood the test of time and buildings or faces with that ratio are consistently considered beautiful. 


It doesn’t rub me the wrong way b/c I think I’m not cut from the right fabric… (enough guys eyes have told me I’m desirable) It’s frustrating b/c it feels like:

“you bring pleasure to men, so you are worthy of being loved.” That’s not a definition of worth that I want.
and my mind twists it to:
“you are lust afterable, so someone amazing will surely lust after you.” 
and guys have…. too many guys think I’m great to have around, or good for them, or nice or what have you… but it’s not me they like, it’s what my presence does for them. It’s like they can’t see who I am. Maybe I’m not helping. I can clearly see I’m not their type. I don’t know why they are confused. There are three guys I know right now whose type I could be, but our social circles are not creating natural overlap. Maybe I’ll have the honor of getting to know one of them really well… maybe not.

All those frustrations aside, beauty is powerful. I have started enjoying being a work of art every day and the result has been 1) students listening to me better and respecting me more 2) better service when I run errands 3) people listen when I talk.




Who You Know

We’ve heard that certain industries are all about who you know. Music, business, politics, etc. as the world gets more “social” it seems who you know and how many whos you know will matter even more.

I get to work with little ones for a few hours every work day in their homes and get to make my deductions on the effect of home life on emotional stability. And I think who you know and how you are known when you are growing up determines the kind of adult you will be, and if it will even matter “who you know” when it comes time to enter the work force… or get promoted in the work force.


What’s the difference between work and play? Play has laughter, work furrows our brow. Play flits, work focuses. Play you choose, work is chosen for you. Play is pretend, work is real.

Or is it?

I feel the weight of wanting more, more to do, cooler experiences, more solid friendships etc. all these things… but really, what’s the difference between entry level and calling all the shots at an organization. Or, in my field, what’s the difference between 1 person watching me sing and an arena full of boisterous fans?

I think the difference is responsibility (and stewardship.) For whatever reason, I, and lots of people I know, (and many more I don’t know that I read about) like this stewardship thing.

If the Bible is true… then the statement “life and death are in the power of the tongue” is a true statement.
That means that everyone alive that can speak is stewarding life and death. That’s way cooler than any business deal, huge house, nice fabric, amazing performance opportunity etc.

So, let’s focus on stewarding life and death and play while doing the work that’s in front of us–whatever it is. Knowing that it matters. But, more importantly, we matter.

Good to Great

Fifteen years ago, a book was published about how companies went from being average to being 3x above average consistently. It’s a fascinating and uplifting read that has shifted my leadership paradigm. And, my mind has cycled these thoughts 1,000’s of times since I’ve read the book.

These are my favorite points: (in the order I remember them)

1) Great leaders focus on making their organization great… they don’t come in with a huge goal and convince everyone to be on board.

2) following from that… the decision to work for being the best comes from seeing success in the small changes. I mean, seriously… I guess that’s the difference from intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic would be the way the great leaders go… they want to be really great… and when they see they are on their way, they decide to be the best in the world at what they do. Extrinsic motivation would be needing to be the best to feel good about yourself, picking a field, deciding to be the best at it, and working your butt off.

3) Great companies knew what they could do well and ONLY did that. Interesting. I’ve long thought that musicians (and creatives in general) are poor b/c we insist on wearing 1,000,000 hats (it’s def. more fun that way!). But, by definition, when we do THAT much, we aren’t that good at it. This book showed that that principle works for companies for sure. The ones that hold onto things that don’t match with their “core” weren’t as effective with their “core.”

4) Great companies are realistic about what the market is like (no delusions [of grandeur or safety or permanence]).

5) Technology makes things that are going fast faster… it’s purpose isn’t to make sedentary objects have killer momentum.

6) Oh, I am surprised I just remembered this. Great companies get the right team before they decide where they are going…. and the right team are people who care about the vision more than money or what have you. So people before new plans…

7) Also, when implementing new plans… great leaders didn’t just cut and swipe… they built off of the momentum that was there already. (a restate of point 1) 

8) And back to the right people…. when you have people who love what they do and care about the company, you don’t have to worry about policies to keep them working well. They WILL work well. It’s in their DNA. This frees up the leader and loops around to keep attracting the best people.

9) B/c after all, bureaucracy is in place to keep lazy people doing what needs to be done. <- that might be my favorite point in the whole book.