Greet with a hug
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I have learned that there is more power in a good strong hug than in a thousand meaningful words. ~ Ann Hood

I’m a pretty reserved guy, and yet, as the years go by, the handshake has felt less and less appropriate. To be sure, it’s the only appropriate greeting in our society when meeting someone for the first time, or meeting someone you have very little relationship with. But for all those I’m friends with, or even regularly acquainted with, the handshake feels so…silly.

I have to wonder what our society would look like if we all greeted each other with hugs instead of handshakes. Would the hug immediately release any tension between parties? Would it break down emotional walls and allow us to build closer relationships, perhaps even build trust faster?

If two people were meeting and one came to the meeting in a bad mood, or with the intention to remain emotionally distant, would the hug help diffuse that distance and bring the two people to a closer place to begin their conversation?

Men seem to have a much harder time with hugging. I’m very pleased that I still hug my dad every time I see him, and my 16 year old son still feels comfortable hugging me every day. I hope that never stops. I think the only other male in my life who feels comfortable hugging me without reserve is Hugh Butler (thanks Hugh).

And yes, I am one who approaches every personal meeting as though I’m in the World Series of Poker going up against Phil Hellmuth. Good luck reading my face Phil. But still, if our society took a vote today to replace handshaking with hugging, I’d vote a hearty yes. Male or female, friend or foe, I have this hunch that replacing the handshake with a hug would result in, at the very least, a much better starting foundation for whatever is to follow.

If you aren’t comfortable with hugging, be careful when approaching me. At any moment, I may pull a fast one on you, and hot swap the handshake for a full on hug. Hopefully, in that moment of awkward uncomfortableness for you, you’ll pause for just long enough to realize, this guy cares enough about you to not treat you like a complete stranger.

The Man in the Arena
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It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Unify behind a vision you can believe in, and change the world
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These days it seems that everyone has their sights set on creating their own startup with their own idea. I think its why 37 signals has been unable to sell their successful and money-making Sortfolio site. Everyone thinks they have a better idea; a sure way to make Instagram-like billions or have their moment of fame and celebrity status.

I wonder how many will die having held out for their own ideas instead of joining forces with like minded individuals, and by the power of a unified and focused team, created something truly world changing?

“It is amazing how much people can get done if they do not worry about who gets the credit.” –Sandra Swinney

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” –Vince Lombardi

Your playing small does not serve the world
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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others

Note: this quote has been falsely attributed to Nelson Mandela but is actually from Mariane Williamson’s ‘A Return to Love’.