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Be the Squeaky Wheel

In an overly communicative society, boldness is often the key to notoriety, wealth, and even acclaim

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Throughout history people have stepped into the limelight at critical junctures and become immortalized for it.

* Moses told the Egyptian pharaoh, “Let my people go.”

* Jesus told an unruly crowd, “Let he that lives without sin cast the first stone.”

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* Martin Luther nailed his 99 reforms to the door of the Catholic church knowing this would set off a landslide of controversy.

* George Washington confessed to his father that he did in fact chop down the cherry tree, saying, “I cannot tell a lie,” …not really, but that’s the myth.

* Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous, “I Have a Dream” speech but equally of note, endured jail, hosing down, and discrimination for what he believed.

You probably tend to admire those who adopt broad sweeping causes related to freedom, truth, or human rights. It seems as if bold, positive, decisive action has often served as the catalyst for followers to take up the lead. Such action can become a turning point that historians dutifully record.

Genius in Boldness

The German philosopher Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe once said, “Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” In an overly communicative society, boldness is often the key to notoriety, wealth, and even acclaim.

While there might be 8, 12, 15, or several dozen female singers with the range, voice quality, and talent equal to or exceeding that of Katy Perry, she is among the few who captures the headlines.

Andre Agassi might not have been the most talented player on the pro tennis circuit, but  during his playing days he was the one that most people could recall most easily. Beyond the arenas of sports and entertainment being the squeaky wheel has impacted other social arenas.

A particular inventor still owns the record for holding the largest number of U.S. patents. He is the widely celebrated inventor of the phonograph. He is commonly regarded as the inventor of the light bulb although he merely improved on it and, most important, made it commercially available for the masses.

He also made dozens of improvements to other existing products. Can you name him? Undoubtedly, you can since he’s Thomas Edison.

So Many Before Him

Thomas Edison was not the original inventor of electric light. He improved upon a principle that others had already discovered. In 1802 Sir Humphrey Davy produced an arch light. He was followed in 1844 by Jean Foucault who made an arch light strong enough to illuminate the Plaza de la Concorde in Paris.

By 1860 Sir Joseph William Swan devised a crude light bulb and eighteen years later demonstrated a successful carbon filament lamp at New Castle, England. This was ten months before Edison invented the light bulb.

A second inventor of equal brilliance and contribution to society revolutionized the automobile industry. He’s credited with having ushered in a new era of ignition systems, vehicle performance, and vehicle safety. He patented a painting process that prolonged the life of cars by reducing the incidents of rust.

With four hundred million vehicles in America alone and more than a billion throughout the world, surely you can name this hallowed inventor. Right?

Okay, here’s a huge clue: He also became a philanthropist and to this day his name is part of one of the foremost cancer research and treatment facilities in the world which he help found. Who is he?

Give up?

He is Thomas Kettering for whom the Sloan-Kettering Institute is partially named. Why does virtually everyone know the name of Edison, and nearly no one knows the name of Kettering?

Perhaps Edison’s inventions were more consumer-oriented or impacted more people more quickly back then. One hundred years ago, everyone was likely to turn on a light switch, but not everyone owned a car.

Consummate Squeaker

Edison, as it turns out, relentlessly promoted himself. He constantly talked to the press and gave interviews. He always issued pithy quotes. He went out of his way to grandstand. He often bragged that he got by on very little sleep per night, a claim later proved to be untrue.

Edison was always looking for opportunities in which to get into the news, and equally important offered product and service contributions of lasting impact.

Kettering was not a meek or mild lab scientist. He was a strong leader within the organizations he formed. He also gained the reputation as someone with quick wit who could both give and take a joke.

Yet, unless some dramatic, Oscar winning movie about Kettering appears in the future, it’s unlikely that his name will ever be as widely known as Edison’s.

So it is in many arenas of life.

Two performers, alike in major respects, with a similar array of accomplishments, might have different experiences in terms of what they earn, how they are perceived, and how they are remembered.

Think about those whom are the most visible to the public. Are these people hesitant to voice their views, or are they both seen and heard?

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Life

The Fine Art of Doing Nothing

Sometimes it’s hard to be alone, especially alone with our own thoughts

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“…people never are alone now. We make them hate solitude; and we arrange their lives so that it’s almost impossible for them ever to have it.” ~ Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

In this era, it’s becoming harder to be alone, especially alone with our own thoughts. Dr. Timothy Wilson, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia, along with other researchers conducted an experiment with student volunteers. The students were given two options: For 15 uninterrupted minutes they could do nothing.

Or, they could give themselves a small, electric shock. Roughly 67% of the men and 25% of the women in the experiment chose to give themselves small shocks, even though earlier, many had proclaimed that they would pay money not to endure such a shock.

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Anxious for Anything To Do

Why did they opt for the shock? They became increasingly anxious for anything to do over the course of the 15 minutes. Aha, you say! These were probably millennials for whom a 15-minute stretch of doing nothing is virtually impossible.

As it turns out, the participants consisted of adults recruited from a farmer’s market and from a church. They acted in much the same way that you might expect of millennials. They felt anxious and antsy when left alone for a 15-minute stretch with nothing else to do but be with themselves.

The question  for each of us is why is it becoming so hard to take a few moments throughout the day to simply do nothing? Have we become such a driven populace that we cannot even spare a few minutes for ourselves? Do we not recognize the peace of mind that we can experience when we’re not fully occupied every minute of the day?

Weaning Yourself

If you feel that you are constantly seeking to optimize every minute of the day, and perhaps are oversubscribed, over-informed, and overwhelmed, here are interlaced ideas that you can put into practice:

Start small. Rather than attempt a long stretch of doing simply nothing, see if you can last for 60 seconds or maybe 120 if you’re feeling brave. It’s best to attempt this after you finish a task, and feel good about your accomplishment. Marinade in your positive feelings.

Perhaps before you go to lunch or return from lunch, or before or after taking a break, why not allow yourself a little time to pause and, well, simply do nothing.

If you have a 15 minute break, where is it written that you can’t spend 60 seconds at your desk doing nothing, take a 13 minute break, then spend the last 60 seconds at your desk, again doing nothing.

Expand Your Ability

As you build more and more confidence in your ability to take some time out with no thoughts or activities in mind, strive for three to five minutes. If you arrive at work early, you could spend such time in your car with the radio off, not checking your cell phone, and not doing anything, other than simply sitting there.

At your workplace, maybe you can spend three minutes undetected in a conference room, corporate library, rooftop terrace, or elsewhere.

At home, where you have more flexibility, could you attempt a short weekend session? This should be no problem. During the weekday, it’s understandable that you seek to efficiently commute to and from work, although even on weeknights it might be possible for you to carve out a few minutes. Think of all the times you’ve been online, or you flick through the TV channels, and how aimless that can be.

Reinforce What Works

As time passes, giving yourself some stretches here and there where you don’t have to do anything can become reinforcing. You have the opportunity to take a deep breath. You get a chance to reflect, or to clear your mind. You have time to visualize.

Even if none of these things happen, you still get a chance to slow down. Any way you look at it, it’s a good proposition.

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Faith

WOW. Grab the Kleenex and Watch this Girl Sing!

Simon Cowell gives Nightbirde the Golden Buzzer

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WOW. Grab the Kleenex and Watch this Girl Sing!

Simon Cowell gives Nightbirde the Golden Buzzer after her beautiful performance of “It’s Okay.” Nightbirde chases her dreams and proves that she is so much more than her cancer!

This is a message you will want to share! Watch below:

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