Take a look at this video by Google’s own Chade-Meng Tan who does a great job at presenting how compassion can be practiced in a business environment:
Sometime the best business lessons come from the unexpected.
Just walked into the Starbucks at 40 Front St E, in downtown Toronto, to work for a couple of hours. Ordered a cup of coffee and some VIA for the office. Barista told me they were out of the VIA coffee I was looking for, and before I even blinked in disappointment, he told me my cup of coffee was on the house, and apologies for the inconvenience.
That’s incredible customer service. If a big corporation like Starbucks can do it, can’t we all?
Make the world slightly better today. It starts with the unexpected…
It’s no secret I enjoy running and participating in all types of events that draw large crowds together along the streets of a city or a town. Besides the obvious health benefits, I find it absolutely exhilarating to run alongside thousands of people, hearing the cheering of family members and friends throughout every kilometer of the course.
I truly appreciate being on my own on some of my long training runs, being left alone with my thoughts and my choice of cheesy music. However, I see these running events as a reward to all the hard work. It’s not every day that thousands of people join you on a run.
I highly recommend you get involved and sign up for a run. You won’t regret it. If you haven’t tried it before, just head to a local running shop and you will find information about races and how to get started. If you are a runner but haven’t raced before, consider adding a bit of excitement to your training and sign up for a race.
Here are some of the reasons I think you should sign up for one:
- You will get in the best shape of your life. Running is a simple sport that requires very little in terms of investment of time and equipment. I took up running to stay fit between business trips where I couldn’t pack my bike or had the time to go for a ride. All it takes is a pair of running shoes and half an hour, and you can get a good quality training run. And once you begin it, you will be surprised at how far you can go after a few weeks.
- You will have an incredible sense of accomplishment when you finish. There’s nothing like crossing the finish line after a long run, especially if you have never done it. Believe me, the feeling is exhilarating. You will feel rightly proud of yourself and of what you can accomplish in all areas of your life.
- You will feel more energetic and productive at work. This is a benefit I didn’t expect when I first started. I thought regular exercise—especially training for a half marathon—would sap my energy. It had exactly the opposite effect. I am never more focused and energetic than when I am in the middle of training.
- You will have a more positive outlook on life and on dealing with stress. The stress of modern life takes its toll. The economic realities of the past two years haven’t helped. Training for a run will also train your perseverance and your discipline, and in term you will be able to deal with any stress more efficiently. You will even sleep better. Guaranteed.
- You will gain the confidence to take on other challenges. This is one of the main reasons I love to run. It gives me the opportunity to tackle my biggest challenge—me. If I can overcome the mental obstacles I encounter on the way to the race, I can put those skills to use in other endeavors.
- You will provide an example for others. True leadership begins with self-leadership. When you lead yourself, you inspire others to want to follow. Maybe it’s a spouse, or a friend, or one of your children. They need to exercise, but they don’t have an example to follow. You can be that example.
- You can help raise money for a worthy cause. This takes running to a whole new level. It’s no longer just about me, but about something significant that makes a difference.
- A great excuse to travel. You can make running a race a weekend event for you and the whole family. Nowadays there are tons of running events in every city, and you can make a whole trip out of the event. A chance to explore a new city. How about the Rome Marathon? A 10K in Madrid? Half Marathon in Paris?
Truth is these are just a few of the reasons I love signing up and participating in running events, and they only begin to scratch the surface of the hundreds of reasons I’ve heard over the years from runners. So take advantage of the good weather and sign up today for a 5K, a 10K, a Half Marathon or a full Marathon.
A few days ago I had the opportunity to run the Toronto Half Marathon, and even though the conditions were less than ideal (wet start, light rain and a bit windy on the course), it really makes no difference when so many people are running together. Passing so many people standing in the rain waiting for their family members or friends go by, only fuels you to stay on target and keep going all the way to the finish line.
First of all I want to thank all of you for the constant stream of support messages I’ve received over the past few weeks for my family and my father’s upcoming heart surgery. Thank you so much.
It’s no secret that since I first found out about my father’s condition, I’ve been studying and reaching out to some people in the medical community to help me better understand what exactly goes on in coronary artery disease, as well as the surgery involved (in the case of my father, quadruple bypass surgery), and what we can all do to most effectively help him recover and maintain a healthy lifestyle beyond this.
During this process I’ve come across a great deal of information on the advances the healthcare field has made along with technology, and I can’t help but feel the utmost respect for the people behind the remarkable stories and discoveries made over the past few years.
It would be nearly impossible to post here all the great videos and articles out there (and you would be scrolling down for days), so I narrowed it down to just a few of the excellent videos available online from the TEDMED Conferences, which will introduce you to some of the people behind this fascinating world of medical technology, and how they are helping save and improve people’s lives everyday. I hope you enjoy them.
Charity Tillemann-Dick tells a double story of survival: from double lung transplant, and of her spirit, fueled by an unwavering will to sing.
Scientific visualization expert Anders Ynnerman shows sophisticated new tools for analyzing data.
David Pogue explains how the iPhone might save lives.
Dr. Keshavjee mesmerizes as he unveils a breathing lung on stage and describes how this technology is saving lives.
Eric Silfen of Philips talks about combining biomedical data in new ways.
Eric talks about the frontiers of wireless medicine.
Finally, I’d like to leave you with this quote and video from Bill Gates on how vaccines are saving children’s lives:
Bill Gates: Vaccines Save Lives.
It’s amazing to see how much content -and the platforms we use to both create it and consume it- have evolved since cave painting was trendy among the prehistoric humans. And the rate of change has been truly remarkable.
What do you think the future of content holds?
Partial completeness comes in many forms. Like in the form of a little voice inside reminding us of what other people sometimes like to use to excuse their shortcomings: “You can’t have it all and you can’t be everything. That’s just the way it is.”
Refuse to accept partial completeness. Just work harder.
Have you ever heard people (or even yourself) say things like: “if you are successful in your professional life, your personal life will take a toll, or it will be at the expense of your health”? Or perhaps some other variant of this?
Richard Branson, the guy behind the Virgin Group (an empire of more than 300 companies, 50,000 employees, and 25 billion per year in revenue) had an interesting response when he was asked “How do you become more productive?” He said: “Work out.”
Working out can add several hours to your work day, among many other life-changing benefits.
Often times we find it safer to hide behind our perceived limitations. But that’s all they are, perceived. It’s never too late to just ignore them and build a blueprint for a complete life.
There are perhaps other videos that better illustrate this point, but I’d like to leave you with one that has caught my attention featuring Neil Pasricha (the mind behind 1000 Awesome Things) at a TED event in Toronto. He’s a great person with some great ideas for an awesome life.
I’ve always been a firm believer in the profound impact education can have in our lives, and how knowledge and our ability -and desire- to learn, is a key motivator in the actions we take everyday to improve the quality of our lives, and of those around us.
Education at all stages of our lives, from our infant years to our wiser years, empowers us to enjoy our life experiences in more detail and with a greater sense of appreciation.
Over the past few weeks I’ve had the pleasure to learn about the current state of children’s education from educators who are passionate and committed to growing and innovating beyond their classrooms. During our conversations it has become clear to me that one important challenge we face today lies in how to transform the way we teach children into a more engaging and interactive experience, and in integrating technology in the classroom in a way that enhances their education and prepares them for the challenges they will face in the coming years.
Our current education system takes many things for granted and there is a great window of opportunity in challenging the way we’re educating our children. A radical point, but one that could open many doors for children, as well as for tech companies around the world that can benefit from getting involved.
Over the past few years the pace at which we’ve innovated in other fields has multiplied, while education -perhaps due to its bureaucracy or simply the complexity in incorporating new initiatives across an entire public system- has not kept up with similar rates of innovation.
However, that is not to say that there is no innovation in Education. On the other hand, it is a space that is becoming busier every day with startups and individuals who are taking on these challenges with powerful and innovating ideas. Here’s a couple of articles listing some of them:
We just need to connect the dots now. Outside of the public education system there are some great initiatives that can improve education and the experience children have while being educated, and now I can see that there are fresh and motivated minds who are ready to take on the challenge of integrating these initiatives into their classrooms. It’s up to the rest of us (parents and individuals) to create a demand for this change and find ways to support it in any way we can.
Here’s a quote that stands out for me and summarizes the message I’d like to leave you with:
It’s a quote from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert, that illustrates the link between 3 troubling trends: rising drop-out rates, schools’ dwindling stake in the arts, and ADHD. I highly recommend you watch the entire video below to understand the lesson and power of this quote.
if you enjoyed this video, I encourage you to also watch Sir Ken Robinson presenting at the TED conference last year.
Here’s a great graphical display of what poor User Experience and in general bad online customer experience is causing retailers just in the US.
Thanks to the folks at WebDesignCool.com for sharing these graphics.