How Do You Measure Yourself: Success vs Value

Recently on a pod cast the speaker quoted Albert Einstein “ Try not to become a man of success but, rather become a man of value,” and this has played over and over in my mind the last few days.  Most my life has been about success when in reality what I dream of is to be of value and to have significance while being successful.  Years ago when I was working long hours and filling my time with work hours instead of ‘anything other then work’ I found that I worried more, felt worn out and daily could feel my light within diminishing. I was not of much value to myself or anyone else. When I found time to stop and get quiet I heard a sweet, soft voice whisper, “Be true to yourself.  Write more, express more, be adventurous and above all love more.”

Can success, significance, and value all work together?  Oprah Winfrey said, “The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance – and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.”  To me success has a greater meaning when it is tied to what really sparks in you that which makes you most want to live.

Somewhere along the way it has became fashionable to work more hours and stay late at the office. Many of our TV shows make it seem like life is at the job: be with your co-workers, stay late then go have a drink at the trendy watering hole on your way home…with your co-workers.  The accepted norm is to be at the office longer as a way to prove our value. The irony is summed up in Parkinson’s law,  “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.   If we take Parkinson’s Law to heart what we really have is a focus and organization problem not lack of time.

Clancy Clark had this to say, ’Being significant means living an unselfish life that puts others ahead of self. The result is a legacy defined by the number of lives impacted, rather than the size of a bank account. Fame and fortune don’t define success.  Even in the dictionary, “significance” precedes “success.”  I wonder how much better the world would be if more people focused on leaving a legacy of significance”.

Financial success is important too; after all, money is our method of exchange for goods and it measure our economic abundance.  So to have both Success and Value is important but at the end of this life, significance will outlast success as it will carry forth our legacy, it keeps on giving, and it satisfies the soul.  What is your legacy?

#Success #Value #Significants

Just For The Snow Of It

I love the adventure of a road trip with the inspiration of the scenery, the conversations with TallBoy and thrill of knowing you are heading somewhere! We left early on Friday morning after dropping Savvy off at Downtown Hound and started our drive to Oregon. TallBoy and I have have had a trip to Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort on our calendar for the last month for a day of skiing at this little mom-and-pop ski area and spend a night in the historic Geiser Grand Hotel in Baker City.  This all coincided with the Geiser Grand lobster fest. 

Only a couple of hours from Boise and the adventure really started once I was able to finish up work from the passenger seat while TallBoy patiently drove and I negotiated one last deal.

Anthony Lakes is situated in the Elkhorn Mountains of Eastern Oregon with a base elevation of 7,000 ft and it boasts the best powder in the Northwest. We were eager with anticipation because in the last 48 hours 13 inches of powdery delight had fallen.  Imagine our surprise to find the ski area closed!  High winds from the night before had caused a ruckus. But, it was calm now, the air warm and the snow begging us to make turns in her textured folds. The good news is we came prepared.  We strapped on beakers, adhered a pair of skins to our skis, added a shovel and probe to our backpacks and started to climb. 

I have limited experience with backcountry skiing while TallBoy has an abundance of know-how so after a quick review of avalanche procedure and the necessary equipment we got ourselves ready for the escalating endeavor. 

My first few steps were awkward until I got into the grove and trusted the skins on the bottom of my skis.  Skins are strips of material (all synthetic material now but they used to use real animal skin) that attach to the undersides of your skis. The outer surface of skins are fuzzy and scale like so they can grab the snow, preventing backward movement of the skis. When the skis are moved forward, these surfaces flatten out to allow some glide. 


We utilized one of the ski runs for about half of our climb and then veered off trail and cut a path of our own.  The weather was perfect and the scenery elegant.  The sound of silence surrounded us and the swiping sound of our skis was rhythmic and hypnotic. I found a counting  system to keep me going and would stop for a breather about every 100 steps.  Taking in the beauty of the majestic Elkhorn mountains and the sound of a nearby creek running under snowy ice was heavenly.  My senses were alive and I reveled at the sight of a large Raven observing us as we wandered through her territory.  Raven’s have always been a sign of magic and mystic to me so this omen was welcomed and I felt blessed.

Once we got to the top of the mountain we found a sheltered spot to make snow chairs and enjoy a snack.  This is el fresco dining at it’s best:  no crowds, endless views, fresh air.  After our reprieve we got ready for the descent: remove the skins, reverse bindings and boots out of walk mode, put on ski jacket, helmet, adjust poles, don on backpack. 

TallBoy ascended first.  He is a telemark skier with the most graceful and precise gait that looks effortless and fluid like a professionally trained dancer. The snow was a little stiff due to the drifted snow but it was still a thrill.  We went about 1/3 of the way down the slope then re-geared into walking mode and strode back up to the top.  When we did our 2nd descent we went all the way to the car.

On the second descend I had a mini melt down because my feet were killing me!  I truly was miserable so we stopped and I took my boots off, TallBoy massaged my nagging feet back to life (what a guy!).  Back in my gear the rest of the way down was quick and swift. It was already late afternoon and the shadows were getting long so we loaded up the car and headed to Baker City to check into the Geiser Grand.  The exhilaration of the day had me buzzing with joy and accomplishment. Nature is a blissful thing!

Stay tuned….next installment will be our time at the Geiser Grand.  

#GeiserGrand  #backcountryskiing  #ILoveMyLife #adventuresofTallBoy&DaisyJ  #Boise #AnthonyLakesRecreationArea #roadtrip

What Would You Do With A Billion Dollars?

What would you do with ONE BILLION DOLLARS?  That is the question many people across the nation are asking themselves as the Power Ball jackpot continues to rise like a thermometer on a hot day.  The amount is staggering to say the least and if we have ever wanted an opportunity to stretch our prosperity imagination this is certainly the time.

I have bought a scattering of lottery and Power Ball tickets over the years but it’s been a long time so what an adventure it was when Tall Boy and I decided to buy a few tickets for last Saturday night’s drawing.  We KNEW we had to go to a Maverick Station to favor our odds. Tall Boy wanted to purchase in prime number increments (yes, I am dating a nerd!) so we settled on 7 draws.  We took our $7 into the market only to find out we needed $14 (when did that happen?)  While observing the professional lottery purchasing clientele, we felt under invested and we contemplated adding Keystone Light and a pack of Camels    anything to improve the odds.

After our stint at the Maverick Station (beer and smoke free), our discussion about winning this much financial abundance lead to a more meaningful conversation about fulfillment.  What does it mean to have a life well lived?  Is it money?  Certainly money makes life more comfortable.  But does it give you Joy, Peace, Freedom.  For me to live a full life is to feel – feel purposeful,  joyful, peaceful, empathetic.  To be contributing to the betterment of humankind and to have an arsenal of resources like money, physical energy, and spiritual aptitude.  

While growing up, my father was a role model for living an authentic life.  He could have climbed the ladder of success and spent hours on the job and away from the family.  Instead he found a level of financial comfort and lived a balanced life.  He skied, fished, hunted, and enjoyed other outdoor activities that kept him healthy and connected. (Interestingly, I see these same qualities in TallBoy).  The family benefited as well, and I am proud to carry his legacy of an authentic and balanced life.  I daily covet and am grateful I have chosen a life of good health and finding time to connect with friends, family, and nature.  

It’s Wednesday and need to finish up here so I can run down to the Maverick Station and buy a few Power Ball tickets for tonight’s drawing.  Would a big win make me happier?  Maybe, but I am pretty happy; it would give me some extra cash to have more fun, share with others, and maybe even implement change on a much larger scale.  The odds are 1 in 292.2 million.  Someone has to win.

#TheAdventuresOfTallboy&DaisyJ      #PowerBall   #ILoveMyLive

Life Out doors is a Life Well Lived

2016 started with a beautiful day of skiing at Bogus Basin with Todd (aka Tallboy).  The groomers were buttery and remanents of powder could be found on the north slopes.  Sunshine kissed and warmed our faces as we danced our way down the mountain on slopes that lacked a feverish crowd.  We felt like evil geniuses delighting in the outdoors while others, perhaps, recovered from too much New Years Eve blitz or were “couch potatoed” in for a day of football.IMG_4729

Spending time outdoors is a  constant source of joy for me.  It thrills and fulfills me to be on my skis, my bike, running, walking, taking my faithful canine companion, Savvy, for a walk or hike.  I get re-energized and my day to day focus for living is renewed; I work better and think clearer.

On Black Friday this pass year, REI, the outdoor recreation store, in an empathetic and rogue move decided to close all 143 stores nationwide and paid their employees on the most sacred of all retail days.  The reason: to be true to their values and mission, “Life out doors is a life well lived”. In this unprecedented move the retailer started a webpage #optoutside and asked the public to share their outdoor experiences. Over 1.4 million people posted their “free from shopping” adventures; I being one of them.  To further assist in REI’s decision some National Parks offered free passes to experience the great outdoors.

Today’s blog isn’t about REI, it is about the ethos of its bold move to stay true to what they stand for and represent.  As I look to 2016 this is my resolution to the new year to be true to what I believe and what I represent myself to be.  The seeker of truth in me will continue to expand, grow, and allow myself to be more transparent so others can grow as well.  I have always believed that to heal the world we heal ourselves first and after the magic of 2015 I know I am living at a whole new level and it feels wonderful!

Cheers and Happy New Year!

#HappyNewYear    #optoutside    #ILoveMyLife  #AdventuresOfTallboy&DaisyJ