Author Archive

back to the buck rogers and now

As we enter 2018, we are almost 3 years past the future in Back to the Future 2 but not quite to the future of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Back in their day, both of these were imaginings of what the future might be. We all do that — imagine what our future might be. But it’s always worth remembering that we are creating our future by the steps we are taking on the path we are on right here and now.

So how does your path look?

Have a great year.

i choose a foggy mind

As I write this, I’ve been going for a fair number of walks in foggy conditions. Which has led me to two observations:

(1) Sometimes the fog is heavier than other times, but there’s always at least a little bit you can see directly around where you are. It is a physical reinforcement of staying in the present moment.

(2) Sometimes the dew from the fog collects and makes things visible that would normally be quite hidden. A physical reinforcement that a change of perspective can often bring new insight.

With these 2 observations as guideposts, I’m perfectly happy to have a foggy mind. You?

making the common word a proper name

This is one of the cats that I took care of in Italy. He’s an outdoor neighbourhood cat who gets his breakfast and supper at the home where I was staying as I wrote this. The owners introduced him to me as Micio. That is his name. What I came to learn, however, is that “micio” in Italian means pussycat or tomcat. So we have a cat named Cat, more or less.

A word in one language is a commonality. That same word used in the context of another language becomes a proper name. Same thing seen through different views.

This seems to me to be the cornerstone of mindfulness or of living and working with intention. The small details which we all tick off without thinking — the exercise becomes to actually focus on and enjoy those small details. Do them with intention. Own them. It doesn’t take any longer, but it does make the whole experience of your day just a bit deeper.

Whether it’s a task or an experience or anything else, do you have a micio that can become a Micio in your life?

night owl in the early morning

I am a night owl by nature. If I had my druthers, it would be late to bed & late to rise all the time.

I am also a nomad, currently wandering the world (taking care of all of my wonderful clients with the help of strong internet connections). As part of my wanderings, I’m doing a lot of pet and house sitting. Due to the needs of many of the animals I care for, I have to get up early. (In some cases, very early!)

I may never shift to being an early riser when I’m on my own, but there is something about doing it for some other living creature that makes it ok. Having the need come from outside myself makes a massive difference.

And sometimes, you see an arrow in the sky pointing your direction on your early morning dog walk in rural Italy. 🙂

Have you ever done something for someone else that you wouldn’t normally do yourself?

a snail’s pace is just fine

Snails seem to love crossing the sidewalk in places where they risk getting stepped on. (To be fair, there aren’t many places without that risk for the snail!)

And yet they move ever forward.

Slowly & steadily forward despite the imminent risk of being crushed.

I need to remember that the next time I’m scared to move forward on something. There will always be the risk of defeat. But, if I don’t move forward like the snail, I’m already defeating myself.

I don’t see the snail stepping on him or herself, so why should I?

community profile: doug kirkpatrick

We’re so pleased to introduce you to another member of our massively cool community of Bacana clients. Welcome to Doug Kirkpatrick!

Introduce yourself.
I’m a husband, father, Kiwi-American, environmentalist, and chief investment officer of AlphaGlider, a US-based investment adviser.

What’s something making you happy right now?
Following the adventures of my oldest son while he works and explores his way through Taiwan and New Zealand on a gap year between high school and college.

When was the last time you surprised yourself?
Last year my wife and I moved back into a college dorm at age 48. While my wife was busy working on a masters in education at Stanford, I crashed lectures and presentations on science, history, international relations, and business, and more than a few sporting events. It was awesome!

What’s something that brings ease into your life?
1Password, a password manager for laptops, phones, and tablets, that protects me and my family from online bad guys. Best. Software. Ever.

What’s something you’ve seen or read recently that you want to share?
I’ve been reading a lot to try to understand the current political environment in the United States. White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America, by Joan C. Williams, is probably the best piece I’ve read on the subject.

Anything else you’d like to share with the Bacana community?
I think the most insightful piece of advice I got when I started my own business was to focus on what you enjoy most, and on what you do best — and outsource the rest.

Where can people find you?
On my personal finance-themed blog, www.alphaglider.com/blog, and on Twitter, @KirkpatrickDoug.

a cloudy sunset

The sun sets every day, and it’s beautiful. But, when there are clouds in the sky to reflect the colors, it can be stunning.

When you have clouds pop up in your life, are you just trying to move through them? Or are you taking a moment to see what they’re reflecting?

a freezing fire

If you zoom into this photo, you can see the goop on my face & hands. And the wet spots on my clothes are from the goop underneath as well. This is me learning the logistics of a fire burn for stunts, and it was freezing.

The thermals I’m wearing underneath the outer clothes were soaked in goop & ice overnight. And I was completely covered in that same icy goop everywhere else that was exposed. Though the whole point is to act like you’re burning, in reality, the moment you start to feel the heat is the moment you need to end the stunt.

This was a long time ago, and fire burn gel technology has improved exponentially since then. It no longer has to be a freezing endeavor.

But I still think there’s something to ponder here… What appears from the outside as something with a great deal of heat feels to the one experiencing it as a great deal of cold.

Have you ever been in a situation where you had to maintain a calm exterior but were experiencing a great deal of turbulence inside? Or vice versa, a time when it was important to show a lot of enthusiasm while inside you were just rather blasé about it?

There are many instances in this world of the exterior and the interior not matching. The key is to find when those instances serve a purpose and move the story forward, and when those instances mean you are not being true to yourself and some change needs to happen.

community profile: andrew feliciano

We’re so pleased to introduce you to another member of our massively cool community of Bacana clients. Welcome to Andrew Feliciano!

Introduce yourself.
My name is Andrew Feliciano, a Los Angeles native and recording studio owner specializing in voiceover. I’m an outdoor enthusiast and avid rock climber.

What’s something making you happy right now?
Making stuff. I’ve always had an interest in making stuff from growing up with do-it-yourself parents. I have really enjoyed the resurgence of the maker movement. I’ve been inspired by the seemingly unlimited amount of quality content on YouTube and other places on the web where people are sharing their expertise and passions for all kinds of crafts: woodworking, electronics, carpentry, costume making, and anything else you would be interested in.

When was the last time you surprised yourself?
I recently started walking to work when I can and was surprised how much I like doing it, and, this most recent week, did it 5 days in a row. I actually went out of my way a little to do it, which was not something I had anticipated happening. I luckily live about a mile from where I work, which not everyone has the luxury of, but the act of 20 minutes of light activity in the morning before starting the day has been a nice change to the start of my day.

What’s something that brings ease into your life?
Automation. More specifically using modern tools (largely web-based) to do things for me. Many people have used auto-pay for bills, but now you can do additional personal things like getting regular deliveries of household items from Amazon or other services and setting reminders for calendar events and personal tasks. But also work-related automation tasks with tools such as Zapier, Workato, and other web-based tools. Many of these sorts of things have been available to larger businesses for a long time, but now are accessible to individuals.

What’s something you’ve seen or read recently that you want to share?
I just finished reading the book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. It was an easy read and immensely helpful as a small business owner, but these ideas can be used in any facet of life.

Anything else you’d like to share with the Bacana community?
I have come to realize in the last few years that good communication is one of the most important aspects of everything we do as people, but also one of the hardest. Being a good communicator causes so much mental discomfort and constantly challenges our identity. There are plenty of aspects to this, but I’ve found that a common theme always comes back to listening first and empathy. Some examples are active listening techniques, the book The Five Love Languages for relationships (something I resisted, but was surprisingly straightforward), and Getting to Yes, which I recently read. I can’t say that I am a shining example of this, but I do try to keep these ideas in mind.

Where can people find you?
Best place to get in touch would be via my company’s website, www.voicetraxwest.com.

the care of leadership

“Most leaders think leadership is about being in charge. No, it’s not. It’s about taking care of those in your charge.”
— Simon Sinek

Whether in your business, a community group, a group of friends, or your family, do you take a leadership role? How do Simon’s words resonate with you?