“A woman can’t be too rich or too thin.”

Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor

Recently, OPreach stopped by for a visit to share words of wisdom. For any of you who follow her amazing blog, you will know she has a gift for inspiring reflection.  With one word, she gave me the topic of my next dialogue – benchmarks.

Over the years, I have developed a love/hate relationship with benchmarks.  I use them when I need them; I feel abused by them when they seem to go against me. One thing I am quite certain about – benchmarks rule our lives, from the cradle to grave.  An infant is measured against the height and weight standards, just as adults are placed in the recommended weight categories.  Individual math and literacy scores in grade school are comparable to the annual university ratings that determine the finest school to attend.  Cars, clothes, food and travel can not escape the benchmark trap.

“If I see any more signs on the walls of my workplace that tell me to be the change, I cannot be held accountable for what I may say.”

That came from a very good friend.  She’s intelligent, strong and full of cheerful humour. I knew exactly what she meant.  I want to be the change – my way – not at the whim of a business mantra that dictates the terms of change.  Brave words, but here is the situation: If our world is experiencing the strong winds of exponential change, we can be certain that we are being buffeted by those same air currents.  Words and phrases like productivity enhancements, strategic direction, and robust execution are bandied around as if we were dots on a graph, or a number in an equation.  And it was this line of thinking that gave me my “change” equation.  I was attending one of those embrace the new seminars, scribbling my notes on paper, when my pen stopped in mid-air, before landing on the paper to write, in bold strokes the equation:  N + t = Y.

 No + time = Yes

I knew that by the end of the seminar, the majority would be unhappy with the reorganization, but it wouldn’t be long before these same people would accept and happily acclimatize to a new environment. We will change, but we first say “no” to fresh ideas.  Even those amazing (and often annoying) souls, who seem to accept everything with cheerful gratitude, must undergo a series of decisions before plunging headlong into the unknown.

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” Socrates

The other day I met up with some friends who spent a considerable amount of time discussing how busy they were.  It became a competition.  Who was the busiest?  I even found myself contributing to this jumble of “busies.” In the end, I really didn’t know how much actual communication had taken place.  That is, until I realized that messages were scattered in between our “busy lists.”

Have you ever measured your curiosity fitness level?  You know – the part of you that has a strong desire to know or learn something.  Generally, humans are curious creatures.  But the true measure of curiosity fitness is how an individual defines “something.”

When Katie Holmes filed for divorce on June 28th and Adele announced her pregnancy on June 29th, the messages were passed on via Facebook and Twitter using internet (faster than light) speed.    With our instant communication capability, gossip spreads quickly.  Is this curiosity or merely entertainment?