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Brand Building: Using Emotion the Right Way to Create Buddies for Life

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Are you old enough to remember the rumors that Led Zeppelin’s iconic song Stairway to Heaven included subconscious missives from the Devil? Supposedly, if you played the record backward, it would say evil things, like, “He gives you 666”.  

Whatever that means. 

Whether or not rock and roll’s bad boys were dancing with the Devil is uncertain, but we do know that the advertising world certainly was. And does. 

It’s not news that advertisers have used images to kick our subconscious in the gut …

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Beyond Oz: Crystal Ball Predictions for Post-Pandemic Travel, Cities, the ‘Burbs and Beyond

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The last year felt like the part in The Wizard of Oz, as our heroic misfits obediently follow the Yellow Brick Road to find the Wizard with all the answers.

You know what happens next - they get to Oz and have trouble getting in. When they finally gain entrance and pull back the curtain, they see that the Wizard is just like them - he doesn’t know what the hey is going on, either. 

One of the best parts of the last year, though, has been to observe the resilience of some people forging ahead …

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My Crystal Ball Street Cred, and How To Get Yours, Too

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Sometimes when I write, I predict the future. 

When you come across those posts, you might ask, “Why should I listen to you?” 

Great question. I would ask, too, if I were you.

The answer is I am a proven, intuitive visionary who has learned to guard and nurture that aptitude. 

I’m not making it up. It has taken me over 50 years to get out of my own way and claim it, as a matter of fact.

I have proof below.

But first, I want to let you know that while big picture thinking is one of my stre…

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Drive-thru Vaccines, check. You're Still Here. What's Next?

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Houston has almost 7 million people to vaccinate. 

While that sounds like a big job - and it certainly is - Harris County has some hurricane-hardened experience serving large numbers of people, and not just during floods and fire.

Take schools, for example. The Houston area is home to 10 of the largest public high schools in the country, with my alma mater Alief Hastings clocking in at 3rd largest in Texas, 26th in the USA. Go Bears!  

Texans like their football, which leads to sprawling hig…

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Ice Ice Baby - Life Lessons from the Winter Storm in Texas

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Just as Texans were getting our footing in 2021 after a challenging 2020, the authorities gave notice of the coming winter storm.

I ordered groceries on time, made some adjustments so I could continue to work without power for a day or so, filled up water bottles, and then patted myself on the back that I was ready.

Wrong.

As the official news was dribbling out updates, I realized that state leadership either had not known or did not want to admit how bad it was going to get. I knew the pr…

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Playing Failure Roulette with the Reptile Brain

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I just did what I call PD roulette - open a random page in a book from the worlds of personal development or spirituality.

Today's spin was with Tim Grover’s Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable

I landed in the chapter on failure. It was not what I expected, and it was exactly what I needed, which pretty much sums up Tim Grover’s approach in general. 

Like everyone else, I’m adjusting to the world’s wobbling. I’m risking, showing up once again, and again, and again, to planning, p…

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Want That Dream Come True? Make Yourself Uncomfortable

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Sky over the Baja Desert near Todos Santos, Mexico, 2018


The cloudy summer sky glows silver-gray, like an iridescent shell arching over the desert near Todos Santos, Mexico. The air is warm, humid and expectant, waiting on an approaching hurricane that pushes rain ahead to the parched desert south of us, but not one drop of rain falls on the town.

This time of year, tourism dries up as locals with pesos and gringos with passports skip town for cooler climes.  Go walking in the …

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When Home is a Place You Have Never Been

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Sometimes, going home means moving on.

Last week we found our way to a small hilltop town in Oaxaca after a tiring day that ended in a big fight. Yes, and don’t tell me you’ve never had a road trip brawl.

It was the end of a week laced with beautiful experiences and some relationship tension. Anytime you travel with others for more than a few days, stuff comes up. Why? Because we are out of our routine.

If we like control, we find ourselves in new situations where we are not in co…

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A Visual Tour of Why People Are Hurting

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Walk a mile in their shoes

Almost every time I get in an Uber, I ask the driver for their story.

I don’t say, “So! What’s your story?”

Usually I just say, “How long you been drivin’ UBER?” That always leads to the why.

Before COVID, the usual why was because they were in-between jobs, students, or as a side-gig to supplement their income.

Post COVID, the why is most of them are driving UBER to stay above water.

Hector was about to open a catering business, with signed lease space a…

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How to Wake Up Happy

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How to Wake Up Happy.

Hang in there, this is not a rainbows and unicorns post.

I woke up thinking, I am love. But in truth, I had a millisecond of proto-anxiety before that thought.

We don’t control our first thoughts in the morning, so they are a good barometer of our true emotional state.

I’ve been working to not wake up with anxious thoughts in my head.

Wait.

See how I phrased that, straight from my first draft, the one that just fell out of my head?

The awkward part — ”trying hard t…

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