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In the 1990s, a man named Dunbar suggested a correlation between primate brain size and social group size. Without litigating his research, he proposed that we humans can comfortably maintain between 100 and 200 social relationships. Ever after, this has been referred to as “Dunbar’s Number.” Many people split the difference and call it 150. […]

The Power of Curiosity

Tom Peters’ book In Search of Excellence is regarded as one of the most influential business books of all time. In an article about the book, Peters says, “There was no carefully designed work plan. There was no theory that I was out to prove. I went out and talked to genuinely smart, remarkably interesting, […]

Return the Damn Call, No Matter What

I got a note from the wife of a college roommate and friend the other day. It was that note. My friend passed away a few months ago. I guess I wasn’t much of a friend that I was just hearing about it. My friend had been in decline for the last several years. He […]

The First Law of Farming

If you live on a farm, you know this. The first law of farming is “Whatever you thought you were going to get done today, you probably won’t.” This is especially true in the spring when you’re firing up equipment that’s been sitting, turning on lines and hoses for the first time in four months, […]

Honor the Muse

Many years ago, a dear friend and artist wrote me this . . . Art is a form of communication. If an idea can be better expressed in writing, it should be poetry or prose. If it can be best expressed through sound, it should be music. The visual arts express something other or more […]

Beware “Total Work”

Do any of these sound familiar? I’m taking a week off (from work) I’m leaving work early (from work) I’m shutting down for the weekend (from work) I’ll be back in ten days (to work) If any of that sounds like you, it sounds like your definition of life is a function of your work. […]

Art Is

My sister passed a couple of years ago. 4.24.24 would have been her 64th birthday. She wrote this many years ago. Art is an all encompassing act of love. It starts with a love of materials, is fed by a love of beauty, and in its fruition, it is a gift of love to all […]

We suffer from a lack of craft

Having a “craft” means bringing discipline and love to what you do. It’s thousands of hours of practicing your musical instrument so that when the time comes, you can play. It’s writing every day until you break through to something sublime. It could be making pots, writing poetry, learning martial arts, or being a transcendent […]

I’m Only Interested in What’s New (he said)

“What’s true about human motivation and how to influence and persuade people hasn’t really changed over the last 100 years,” I said. “I completely disagree,” he said. “Everything has changed in the last five years, let alone fifteen.” The conversation didn’t last long. We were talking about human motivation, influence, and persuasion. I am 67, […]

Be A Lighthouse

It’s rare to meet someone who displays curiosity, care, and connection. It’s like finding a lighthouse in the fog of daily noise and non-connection. We all crave connection and control. Finding a balance between them is sometimes difficult. A “lighthouse conversation” can help your client, friend, buyer, or patient thread that narrow passage. Be that […]