Winding Path Of Life

Thought this was an interesting commentary on life. 


Perhaps, we seek a straight line–with no bumps or bruises–to go from where we are to where we want to be. 


But life has others plans for us. 


The road ahead is often winding and where we truly end up is often unknown. 


Certainly, staying frozen in place and doing nothing with our lives is not an option. 


So we move forward, one step at a time, and occasionally taking a leap forward. 


Also, sometimes, we have to take a few steps backward before we can advance again. 


Other times, we may even stumble and fall. 


Whatever happens, we continue to work our way towards the landing at the top to see what we shall see. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Nourishment For The Soul

Aron Kodesh.jpeg

So the Rabbi , a Kabbalist of mystical Torah interpretation, told my wife to concentrate on 3 commandments.

1) Shabbat

2) Kosher

3) Going to Synagogue

Today, we had a little delay and almost didn’t make it to synagogue, but my wife said, “Remember what the Kabbalist said about going every week,” so we went even though we were a little late. 

We went to a conservative synagogue today called, B’nai Israel, in Rockville – it was our second time there. 

The services there are so orchestrated down to the tiniest of details…you could tell that a lot of thought, planning, and effort goes into every service. 

I was really impressed at how meticulous they were for example: 

– Explaining everything and even handing out the sources to their Shabbat speech

– Having everyone ready for their part of the service whether leading the prayers, reading the Torah, or making the blessings over the wine and bread (which was already on a cart on the bimah–alter)

– Including a women who read the weekly Torah portion, children who led some of the prayers, an elderly lady who spoke about upcoming events for the Seniors group, and they even sang Hanukah songs in everything from Ladino to Yiddish.  

At the end of the service, we spoke briefly to the Rabbi and thanked him for such a “perfect service,” and my wife commented how he had such a cool radio voice when he leads the congregation (and he really does..like JM (jewish music) in the AM).

After service, I told my wife how happy I was that we made it to synagogue, that is was like nourishment to my spirit and soul for the week.

We have to feed ourselves physically as well as intellectually, emotionally, socially, and of course spiritually.  

Like the fingers on our hand…we need them all to hold unto life itself. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What Is Peace + Happiness?

buddha

I loved this piece of art work with the colorful Buddhas.

It got me thinking about peace and happiness–is it the same for everyone?

To one person, career, achievement, and money seems to make happy–as one of my friends told me about one of his extremely successful bosses who heads a large corporation and has not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 mansions on the water, in the mountains, and overlooking Central Park in NYC.

To another person, it’s being able to do what they want to in life–doing what makes you emotionally happy instead of what you have to do; the freedom to choose and to be passionate about what you do and how you spend you time every day–whether it’s a profession, an activity or sport, or even exploration and travel.

Yet others, find peace and satisfaction in spiritual and religious pursuits–joining the clergy or learning about G-d and philosophy, doing G-d’s commandments or helping his creations by doing good deeds. 

Many of course, find peace and get nachas from their families, the loves of their life, their beautiful children and grandchildren, and helping the next generation to grow and prosper after us. 

That can also extend to friends, community, and even colleagues–when we surround ourselves with other good people, those who we enjoy their company and have things in common, then we can find happiness with each other.

Being here in Florida for the holidays, I’m reminded of all the sun, beauty, and body-worshippers, those people who love their physique and good health, working out, looking good, being with others that look good, and even designing and making things that are beautiful. 

And at the other end of the spectrum again are the intellectual nerdy nerds who get their energy from being brainiacs like one of my friend’s nephews who is one of silicon valley’s serial innovators.

Whatever you love, have, and do that makes you happy is something to be extremely grateful for.

Nothing is forever, and nothing is owed to us.

Use the gifts that G-d has given you with the wisdom to reach enlightenment by being good and generous to others and so that you truly merit these beautiful things and thank the creator who blessed you. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Enterprise Architecture – Make The Leap

Enterprise Architecture

Another good depiction of enterprise architecture.


What we are, the divide, and what we want to be.


We have to make the leap, but only with good planning and decision-making governance. 


Otherwise, it’s a long fall down the project failure abyss. 


Faith is always important, but so it doing your credible part. 😉


(Source Photo: Via Instagram)

Hooters’ Training

Hooters' Training

I thought this was a funny-sad photo.

This dad took his two kids (twins?) out to eat.

The eatery is Hooters.

The young, attractive, scantily clad waitresses in the orange shorts were serving them.

It may be fine for the adult, but it didn’t seem so okay for the little kids.

Not that I’m so Mr. Perfect, but couldn’t help reflect that what we teach our children is important.

This wasn’t Ronald McDonald’s, Subway, or Chipotle.

What was the lessons for these kids?

I remember when I would argue with my dad (still to this day) about religion and seeing seemingly “religious” people do things wrong (sometimes terribly wrong), and he would say to me, “You be the example!”

Maybe that’s sort of the point–is that the way we live is the lessons we showcase to others.

Each of us has the opportunity to lead by example…that’s what leadership fundamentally is.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Who Do You Want To Be?

Who Do You Want To Be?

Walking through the halls of one of the local schools, there was this awesome display of cutout hands.

Each hand, done by a student, was supposed to represent who they wanted to be as people.

In the center of each was a core saying/belief of the student written on the palm.

And then on each of the five fingers was their personal aspirations:

Emotionally
Physically
Socially
Intellectually
Spiritually

I thought this was a really cool assignment to think and focus on where we’re going with our lives and what our personal goals are.

Like a mini-personal architecture, these hands are the hands of our young people who have their lives ahead of them and the energy and opportunity to shape their futures.

No, none of us has control over the future, but we can do our part to shape who we are as human beings, as this student says:

“I am who I want to be.”

Of course, we have to choose wisely, work hard, and go for it!

We never know if there are any true second chances. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Six Dimensions Of Personal Health

Six Dimensions of Personal Health

There was a wonderful interview in the Washington Post with leadership expert, Bob Rosen.

One of the things that Rosen says is that there are six dimensions of personal and professional health that are vital to leadership.

I have taken these and created with my own photos, a little graphic to remind me of them.

The six dimensions (with my definitions) are:

  1. Spiritual – Serving G-d and doing what is right.
  2. Emotional – Your feelings and ability to manage your state of mind, especially in trying situations.
  3. Social – Interacting with other people in loving, caring, and sharing ways.
  4. Physical – Taking care of your body through good nutrition, exercise, and healthcare.
  5. Professional – Working and contributing to the world by serving a purposeful mission.
  6. Intellectual – Learning and growing mentally by gaining knowledge and the ability to apply it.

I like how each of these is a a distinct contributing element of one’s overall health, but also come together to form a coherent whole of human health.

When all six dimensions are in good health, then a person has the foundations to live and excel.

However, when one or more elements are not being properly taken care of or are out of balance with the others, then a person will not have the ability to maintain or advance themselves.

Self-awareness and a commitment to doing your best in all six areas will help you grow as a person and leader.

Together, these six areas can be associated with one’s own personal architecture, whereby one plans and strives for health and maturity in each of them over time.

(Source Graphic and Photos: Andy Blumenthal)