Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gunga Galunga

I had a "total consciousness" moment (ala Carl Spackler in Caddyshack) developing my Daily Lift Tip today. To be honest I didn’t have any idea of what I was getting into when I committed to writing a Daily Lift Tip on Twitter. I was (and still am) new to Twitter and felt like a daily Tweet in the Lift genre would enable me to get a flavor for what it was like to use the service and generate some content for my Lift Living site. Some days I feel like I find the right words to express how to approach the struggles I am facing and other times I have to replay my day to come up with something Lift worthy...

With the foresight of what lay ahead for me this weekend, I effortlessly wrote Daily Lift Tip #78:

“Self reflection pays more dividends than self projection”

I think it is extremely important to always be improving yourself by making sure you are in touch with your values and approaching life through your filter. The flipside is settling for where you are and justifying your suspended state to the world through self projection.

The longer you self project the smaller the impact becomes on your audience. Think about it… How old do those high school glory stories get after you hear them 100 times?

I am currently at 36,000 feet heading out to a coaching retreat with my whole life coach (Jim Warner of OnCourse International) this weekend on a small ranch an hour north of Denver. I know that I am going to come back a stronger Roger and hope you take some time in the coming week to reflect on yourself and find ways to keep moving your life forward...

Saturday, April 23, 2011


One of my favorite games from growing up was the Connect 4 / Checkers combo pack. I preferred the Connect 4 contraption, but just when you were getting bored you could take apart the apparatus and pull out Checkers for some good old fashion chip jumping fun.


There are other connect games out there that have occupied my time over the years on road trips (tic-tac-toe), hanging out with friends (6 degrees of Kevin Bacon), and in the corporate world (LinkedIn).

I found another when I was diagnosed with cancer and it seemed everyone knew someone close that was touched by the disease in some way or another.

These are some tangible ones... But what about the intangible connections?

You ever notice when you smile at someone in passing they smile back even if you are in a strange town?

Or how people in different countries get the same flood of emotion when they listen to Bob Marley?

Despite some incredible barriers in our world including language, socioeconomics, age, location, or world view, we are all connected. We all breathe the same air, see the same stars, and come from the same big bang.

All 6,830,130,134 of us... and counting (Live World Clock)

Think of the awesome possibilities if we can create rifts of positive energy in the world through our connectedness. Flash mobs of smiles or Bob Marley hour for example...

In a nut shell, this is what gets me so pumped about the possibilities of the What's Your Latitude? movement. Shortly after I developed the Latitude concept I realized that everyone on earth has one...


Next time you are in traffic look at the people in the cars around you.... Or the guy going up the other side of the escalator when you are heading down at the mall... Or the students studying at the local coffee shop on a Wednesday night... Or the old lady everyone seems to ignore because life's too important to respect our elders like we used to...

Each one of these people have Latitudes that are just waiting to be shared. And the positive emotions associated with them are infectious. Trust me and anyone else who reads the weekly updates on Just like the Lay's potato chip tag line: "Bet you can't just read one."

So come on, share your Latitude with someone. Anyone. We all have one.

It's just one more thing that connects us all...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Motivational Grammar

I have a confession to make...

During the first day of Mrs. Talbott's 6th grade English class we were asked to write a quick essay on what we did during our last summer before junior high.

Simple enough, right?

I thought so...

I collected my thoughts about my weeks at camp and days at the local golf course. Life was good.

My essay was going smooth until I tried to write the word "of" with my #2 pencil. I forgot how to spell it... How did that happen!!! I was convinced it was o-v for a while but cooler head prevailed after scanning the room for the word in all the fancy, laminated motivational English posters on the wall.

Thank goodness for scholastic wall art...

I was not a huge fan of English class to be honest, but I did the work and learned fun things like: "i before e except after c"

Gold star, thank you very much.

Twenty years later I am here to propose a change to the aforementioned fancy saying to the following: "i before e AND WILL, except after c"

Hear me out Mrs. Talbott...

This simple change in the English language will make self questioning statements into motivational gold.

Don't follow? Check it:

Will I get into college? ----> I will get into college!

Will I find my true passion? ----> I will find my true passion!

Will I get through cancer? ---->I will get through cancer!

Boom! Just imagine all the new posters...

So here is my challenge to you all:

In the comments section below write a "Will I?" statement you are currently experiencing in life and then rework it using my proposed change. Then go out into the world and live it!

You will feel the lift.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy Anniversary!!

This week was a big one for me:

On Monday, I had my 3 month CT scan. In the spectrum of scans a CT is the easiest in my opinion. You get an IV put in your arm, drink barium for an hour while doing the crossword puzzle, lay down in the CT scanner and 10 minutes later you are out the door. There are some lasting effect from the barium mixture as it works it's way (quickly!) through your digestive system, but from the things my body saw over the treatment regimen, CTs are a cake walk.

On Wednesday, I met with my oncologist to go over the results of the CT scan. The pathologists noted no change in my node sizes (this is great news!), but did note a couple small (2mm and 3mm) spots on my lungs. My oncologist thinks it’s from a virus I had, but to be safe he ordered a lung CT scan (no barium!!) in 4-6 weeks instead of waiting another 3 months for my regular check up scans. Overall I am taking this as good news and it's on with life. Or at least on with my assimilation back to normal-ish life...

On Thursday, the greatest golf week of the year begins at The Masters. If you are tuned into the What's Your Latitude? movement I created you will know that Augusta National is my Latitude (under the 50 Latitudes Experiment -> Illinois) and played a large part in my cancer journey. During scans and long recovery periods I would close my eyes and project myself to the fairways at Augusta where I played every hole, thought about the history, and smelled the Georgia pines and azelea flowers. Needless to say, I will be going dark from all communication during the broadcast this weekend...

On Friday, my wife, son, and I will drive to my aunt and uncles' lake house for the weekend to get away and celebrate the good scan results and an anniversary of sorts this Saturday...

Saturday, April 9th is the 1 year anniversary of my Hodgkin's Lymphoma diagnosis. It is incredible to look back over the course of the past 12 months on what has been quite a roller coaster. Check out my 2010 - Year In Numbers post for some perspective.

I am incredibly thankful for my wife, son and health I have today. Being put through the cancer ringer at the age of 30 is not something you think about in your youth. I am thankful for the lessons I have learned and have a renewed sense of what's important in life.

The small things that seem so important and urgent will fade away as we grow older. When we look back on our lives with the benefit of hindsight we won't remember the petty details but will see the core themes and values we lived along the way. It's never too late (or early!) to take stock of what you stand for or what you believe in.

Believe me when I say that the sooner you start living your values, the sooner you will lift your life towards greater fulfillment.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Blank Slate

Becoming a parent for the first time is a humbling experience to say the least. There is no amount of advice that will prepare you for how you will handle your new role. We are all different and we all deal with it in our own ways.

Shortly after my son was born I began to realize the true meaning of the word "dependent." Fresh out of the oven babies can't do much more than breathe on their own and it's up to Mom and Dad to keep them alive.

Hello responsibility!!!

Going through this process made me realize how thankful I was for my parents nurturing me through the early years of my life as I learned to walk, talk, eat on my own, and become independent. We are all blank slates when we start out life and it is throughout this journey towards independence that we build the outline of who we are and start filling in the blanks.

Ever think about how we build our outline and what influences it? Let me give you a hint: it probably wasn't your pre-teenage self...

As I mentioned up top, a HUGE influence on our early years is our parents. Indirectly, it may be things our parents read about the "right" way to raise us that were written by the experts...

As we grow a little more it becomes our siblings, peers, teachers, coaches, marketers, idols, etc. The list goes on an on... But for the majority of our pre-employment years we are shaped and formed by various influencers.

Being diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma made me reflect on where I was in life and if the path I was on was the right one for me. In short order I realized I let these influencers play too big a role in my life and as a result I was on a path created and shaped primarily by others and not my core values.

Welcome to the Social You.

I am in the process of assessing my life accent to where I am and reconciling this with my core values. I have never been more confident that once I begin my transition towards my True You I will lift my life and achieve more fulfillment than I ever thought possible.

Life is an amazing journey and it should be you leading the charge.