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I believe you should live each day as if it is your last...
McDonald's Surprise

Somewhere around 1992 I observed something about me in the darndest place–a McDonald's restaurant in Sweden. I hadn't been in a McDonald's since about 1970. I used to be a vegetarian and usually eat pretty healthy food. But I was in a hurry, late to a seminar, hadn't eaten, so I ducked into a McDonald's near my hotel in downtown Stockholm (there were four of them within three blocks) thinking I'd grab some French fries to tide me over. On the menu they had a garden (vegetarian) burger. A GARDEN BURGER! what a surprise. It was GOOD! What a BIGGER SURPRISE! I'll go back sometime.

I began wondering how many other positive surprises (and maybe big ones) I was missing because I'm letting my preconceptions , beliefs, judgments and habits stand between me and checking out new experiences.


My life has been pretty good. I love what I do, have a satisfactory variety and balance, and wonderful people and family around me. And when I look around I see that others
could probably say the same. There's much
to be grateful for.

And yet... Why was I rushing so that I even went into a McDonald's?–For fast food! Sometimes I feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. I notice that along with complacency and routine I also need to watch for overcommitment. For me, I've found I need constant vigilance about what I focus on and chose.

Balance?... Balance! I'm hearing that a lot lately. I've been facilitating business leadership seminars around the world. Many of the people I'm working with complain about not achieving the lifestyle (work / life) balance they want. They're not finding the time for some simple things: reading a book, improving their computer knowledge or skills, seeing their son's soccer game or daughter's recital. Time with their spouse or friends, hobbies, exercise, proper diet, enjoying nature... They say they're rushing from one To-Do-List item to the next, 16 hour days, appointments, voice mail messages, email, faxes, schedules, deadlines--STRESS!

Not enough pauses and balance.

How do we deal with change, the increasing rate of change, and organizational and personal demands? Technology was forecast to free up some of our time. That hasn't happened. With all the new technology and learning we can do more. And faster.My favorite business magazine is called Fast Company. There's an irony in all this. Sometimes I notice myself speeding up my life and working harder and harder in a futile attempt to buy the time to slow down and enjoy it... Read that again.

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The Wilderness Experience
"I haven't had so much fun in years...thinking about it, probably never before."
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