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Unique Skills & Human Capital

What are my unique skills that expand my human capital?  I wonder …

One of the roles I fill at Colman Knight is Trainer/Teacher/Mentor.  In this role I source new talent to fill all of the roles and accountabilities for the company to meet its purpose. Recently I asked everyone to complete their own unique abilities assessment in support of a conversation with me about their skills, interests and desired placement in the firm. The process for reflection and discovery was illuminating for everyone. I was also struck by how easy it was to sit with another and mirror back their own discoveries of worth and talent. When was the last time you pondered your unique skills?

Unique talent is a vital part of Human Capital. It holds your natural ability; you have extraordinary capacity for imaginative creation, original thought and discovery. Your unique abilities enable you to earn income, offer valuable energy to the world, relate well with others, and evolve your life. To discover (or affirm) your unique talents, answer these questions:

  • What activities feel like play?
  • When do you receive the most compliments?
  • When does time fly by and results blossom?
  • When do you feel most fully alive?
  • What are your unique talents rarely found in others?

Now, with those answers, where can your human capital come to life?

Your Most Important Love Letter

(… and BTW, don’t leave a mess)

For February, the month of Love and Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be perfect to devote our attention to estate plans, those plans that come to life during and after one’s last life transition. The typical “basic” estate documents and a brief definition are outlined below. Depending upon your situation, including the state in which you reside, you may or may not need all of them. I highly recommend that you make a conscious decision about each. Continue Reading →

Messes left behind

Messes left behind … I wonder …

Life always presents a beautiful message and opportunity to learn and grow.  Here’s my learning from over the weekend.  My sister and I traveled by plane from different states to Florida to assist my 81 year old mother with clearing treasures.  Our mother expressed several times over the years that she wanted us to come down to her home and assist her with distributing the personal and family chattel that she has enjoyed (or stored) over the years.  Last fall we arranged our schedules and made plans for 5 days of connecting, clearing and sorting.  From the beginning, it became very clear (speaking of clearing) that each of us had a different concept of the purpose of the gathering and how to go about the experience.

Fast forward to the drive to the airport home … what happened and what did I learn? Well, this isn’t funny, until it is.  We spent three full days throwing out garbage, organizing decades of various projects yet to be started – much less completed, cleaning bugs, dirt and dust in the crevices of darkness behind furniture/bookshelves/”units”, sorting books and other household goods for the thrift shop, and laughing hysterically at STUFF and the idiosyncrasies of habit and holding on.  At least, this is my perspective. And did I mention we were only in her bedroom?

My biggest learning – and one that I am applying right now is – Don’t Leave a Mess – for those you loveto clean up after your body is gone.  My sister very lovingly and boldly offered this statement to our oldest bachelor brother who tends to store his stuff like our mother.  I am spreading the word.

Do you have any messes?

Four Financial Seasons: Integrating Numbers and Life

[This article appeared in the Boston Globe/Boston.com on January 26th, 2012]

Because money and finances directly impact our survival and are a lifelong growth and learning opportunity, we’re sometimes challenged and short-sighted when it comes to our money matters.

This article and subsequent chat invites you to expand your view by taking a few steps back and seeing some of the aspects of life that directly impact your financial well-being, but are sometimes hidden due to perceived urgency in specific matters. Continue Reading →

What is Priceless?

What is priceless in life?  I wonder…

My 84 year old father sent me a comic strip cut out from his local newspaper; I received it in the mail along with a cute note of instructions to show to our pet cats, Angel and Marina.  After opening his letter– well there wasn’t a letter, just the comic strip with a note – I smiled and soaked in the preciousness of our simple connection and gesture that catalyzes joy.  You see, we send each other comic strips and interesting articles as a way of connecting.  Today, after a particularly crazy week, I welcomed the simplicity of his mail and count it as priceless. When we pause and reflect on the myriad aspects of life, there are too many to count that are priceless. But maybe this exercise is worthwhile. Maybe it’s time to recognize all of the priceless aspects of your life that don’t require money, only recognition.  Begin now, what is priceless in your life?

A letter with a comic strip is already in the mail to my dad.  I can’t wait for Sunday to find another, perfect comic.

What is priceless in your life?

Coins, Spare Change…

Coins, spare change, the jingle in your pocket…  I wonder…

At a time in our culture where penny candy requires a dollar, I wonder about the practical use of coins and the invisible perception of coins. For the “seniors” in our midst – I am close to that stage – coins have a history of value and imprints from life experiences that shape our use of coins and perception. Here’s one example. My beloved, Rich, scours (well maybe not that intense) the ground when walking for lost coins. His day is made when he finds a quarter, dime … even a penny.  You can feel his carefree boyhood excitement when he exclaims,” I found a ______ today.”  Contrast this experience to my children, who rarely, if ever, notice, much less pick up a coin on the ground.  In fact, our son  played a joke on his dad, just to elicit his joy of finding a coin. While waiting in the car in a parking lot for Rich to return, our son extracted a quarter from his change pile in the car and said I am going to put this outside on the ground for Dad to find – “watch this.”  Sure enough, within minutes Rich left the store and spotted the quarter on his way to the car. He paused, smiled, picked it up, grinned at us holding up the coin before opening the car door. Upon entering the car, he said, “look what I found!”  Our son burst out laughing unable to suppress his proof of dad’s consistent behavior.  As amusing as this tale might be, the difference in perception between Rich and our son is clear. The value of coins over the years has diminished with inflation of goods and services. Additionally, the use of electronic money (plastic cards) is helping to make hard currency obsolete.  How does this affect you? Do you collect coins or spare change in a jar? Do you see pennies as a nuisance?  What do you notice when coins jingle in your pocket or purse?  Are you willing to wonder about those round metal pieces that used to buy candy and today require a dollar? There are rich learnings from spare change. I wonder what else I can learn …  I wonder what creative activities I can implement with spare change … I wonder how our money system is evolving and where hard coin currencies play a role … I wonder how others perceive coins – same and different from me …


What Really Matters?

What Really Matters?  I wonder …

These words are the title of a book I recently purchased by Dr. Wyatt.  How I stumbled upon the book– an emergency visit to a clinic with my son while on vacation – is a testament to synchronicity of life and why wondering about What Really Matters is an essential exploration for life.  Most of us believe, or at one time believed, that money really matters.  Money does matter in the relative sense of life, depending upon how we choose to live life.  Let me explain.  If you choose to live a life that includes a home, a car, dining out, vacations, college, … “the American dream,” then financial resources matter because money is required to support these choices.  If you choose a simpler life, one that aligns closer to what the world offers naturally (breathing air, walking in nature, noticing the seasons), fewer financial resources are required to support this life choice.

Whether you choose a life that requires more or fewer financial resources is only part of the focus of this wondering.  The other focus is what really matters in the absolute sense; when we recognize that the things in life that matter are not really “things,” we open a new area of exploration that allows us to soften.  What really matters to you, and to those you love?  From this view, you can then make choices that are aligned with your heart’s desire.  And, when you are clear on your heart’s desire, then your energy moves to generate the financial resources to manifest both things and non-things, along the journey of what REALLY matters.

Happy New Year!