This week’s Comedy Around the World goes biking. To a not-yet-Rails-To-Trails trail. Yesterday evening I rode with a friend on this remote trail. No pavement here—just dirt, large gravel, and occasional hay strewn over a newly drilled well.
We flushed 3 grouse, saw a deer jump across our path. But the most striking event was when we rode past a waiting porcupine.
He was just sitting by the side of the trail, almost as though he expected us to stop and stare at him. He was right: As we stared and stared, he raised his quills. Then, when he was bored enough by the interaction, he jogged/lumbered back into the woods.
My friend told me that porcupines, once out of the infant stage, have no enemies. “Except,” I added, “a bullet or a passing car.”
“OK,” he said, “I mean, no animal predators. The quills protect the porcupine from all danger, so that the animal can jog slowly through the woods, enjoying his time there.”
Humor is OUR quill collection.
Whereas sarcasm—the attacker of the forest—invites a fight, a good-humor nature repels attacks.
The non-offensive nature of situational humor is not only self-accepting, it’s also peace-enticing. It reminds us to have fun, relax, and enjoy life.
As stress, sarcasm, cynicism, and negative self-assessment come close, we only need to raise our quills, remembering our humor nature.
How safe, how relaxing, and how much FUN is that?
I picked up my cat and noticed a big round lump by his mouth. Almost looked like a grey marble. “Oh, no, ” I thought, “Not again…”
I went through the usual drill of a countryside pet-owner and got the rag. Got the nerve. And then yanked the marble-creature from my cat’s face. I held up my winnings and saw little legs kicking furiously.
Ticks aren’t pleasant. For anyone. But, I learned from the vet, they aren’t dangerous to cats.
They are VERY dangerous, though, to dogs and humans.
Humor is like that too. Not only does it leave you kicking your legs furiously, it can sometimes be deadly.
But different outcomes:
Humor can be poisonous and biting.
Or it may be fun and enriching.
Which tick are YOU? How funny is THAT?
—where chemistry meets jewelry. Two non-usually related facets of our understanding. And they just smash them together!
I learned about these remarkable jewelry designers from their dad, Michel Neray and his wife Barbara. Their twin daughters thought up a brilliant way to differentiate themselves from the usual jewelry-as-flashiness-or-to-impress-others tact.
Theirs is jewelry as your own personal message—to yourself. If you’re a big fan of caffeine, you can wear the chemical molecule symbol for caffeine as a bracelet. Or how about an H2O necklace?
As if those weren’t clever enough… What struck me most about their jewelry was the “injuries” section.
Normally we want to hide our weaknesses, avoid getting hurt, forget about our pain.
But Slashpile suggests we celebrate our pain as a badge of honor. And even fashion! I laughed as I looked at the heart-encased broken leg, the stick figure with scoliosis.
Brilliant! If we can wear these drawbacks as not an identity, but merely as an accessory, maybe we can stop identifying ourselves with them and get on with our day?
Check out more of their designs on etsy!
What symbol are YOU wearing today?
For the world to change, as John Mayer would say.
For the ideal picture to come to fruition.
For everything to be in place.
For peace of mind.
This morning, my kitten Maestro didn’t make her usual all-out sprint to the back porch for her breakfast. Instead, she took a leisurely jog and then once inside, she hardly touched her food. I thought something was wrong. Maybe she didn’t like this new food. Maybe she’d gotten in a fight last night and was hurt. Maybe she was sick.
Thoughts roiled in my mind. Until I saw something out the front door.
A mouse. Maestro had bitten off the head and pulled out its intestines. I had all the proof I needed right there on the front door mat. So THAT’s why she wasn’t hungry! And why she seemed so worn-out!
Our expectations are like my hypotheses about Maestro’s behavior. In a word, they’re usually wrong. They usually don’t represent the truth. And we believe in them anyway.
Worse, we usually act on those beliefs, and then feel bad, ineffective, sluggish, and stupid when our expectations falter. There’s a better way: avoid expectation. How?
We have to get to a place where our humor really is OUR humor. Where, if there are no laughs, WE know we are helping ourselves to health, stress-reduction, and a better way of life.
But this doesn’t always happen. In some cases it CAN’t happen, especially if your workplace isn’t in any hurry to create a fun-filled environment for its workers.
So what do we do?
Wait until everyone’s in a good mood so that we can be, too?
Wait to feel good until after we’ve gotten lots of laughs and affirmation?
Wait till everything’s perfect, all ducks are in rows, until we try out our sense of humor?
No. We think, act, and live a humor-lifestyle regardless of our expectations. Regardless of the outcome.
We do it not for laughs. We do it for us.
Why isn’t YOUR cat eating its food today? How funny is THAT?
The Roadmap to 2020, an unprecedented collaboration of the nation’s major women’s business organizations and entrepreneurial thought leaders, was released last week, launching a comprehensive action plan to achieve exponential revenue growth and job creation among women’s businesses over the next decade.
“Roadmap 2020″ recommends nothing less than a paradigm shift in women’s business development—from early entrepreneurial education to policy support to capital availability—designed to enable the creation of at least 6 million new jobs over the next ten years.
Quantum Leaps, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and the National Association of Women’s Business Owners (NAWBO) jointly released the Roadmap 2020 report at WBENC’s 11th Annual Women in Business National Conference and Business Fair before some 2,500 corporations and women business owners in attendance. It was presented on behalf of the 10 women’s business organizations and 20 companies that were supporters and collaborators in Roadmap 2020.
“Roadmap 2020 not only tells us how to create more jobs—but also how to improve the quality of those jobs, with higher salaries and better benefits, in growing, innovative companies,” said Virginia Littlejohn, CEO and co-founder of Quantum Leaps, the nonprofit that mobilized Roadmap 2020 participants. By galvanizing the leadership of the women’s business community, Roadmap 2020 will drive change on the national and grassroots level, and dramatically sharpen the nation’s competitiveness.
Roadmap 2020 prescribes agents of growth all along the business continuum:
- Start-up companies should focus on goal-setting for growth, and training to enable that growth, instead of income substitution,
- “The Missing Middle” – those companies past the start up stage, but with some potential for growth – need vision, strategy, benchmarking, coaching and mentoring
- Multi-million dollar businesses can expand through peer mentoring, globalizing, and increased access to corporate and government markets
- Businesses of all sizes need access to capital
Quantum Leaps will organize a strategic think tank in the fall to specify the next steps in implementing Roadmap 2020 recommendations.
“The Roadmap to 2020 is leading a transformation and connecting women in business around the world,” said Marilyn Johnson, vice president of Market Development for IBM. “IBM is proud to be the lead corporate sponsor of such a high-impact global initiative.”
Roadmap 2020 recommendations focus on six key areas: Measuring Economic Impact and Job Creation; Entrepreneurial Training; Innovation, Technology and Sustainability; Accessing Capital; Accessing Markets; and Building the Movement.
Through 32 core recommendations, Roadmap 2020 challenges policymakers, corporations, financial institutions, educators and the women’s business community itself to enable women’s business to access more capital, more corporate and government contracts, more expansion and responsible risk. Among the boldest recommendations are:
- Expand the role of the Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) beyond oversight of the Women’s Business Center (WBC) program to other growth-focused initiatives, including access to capital and access to markets
- Increase communication and collaboration among women’s business groups
- Encourage federal, state and local governments to accept third party certifications for women’s business enterprises (WBEs)
- Expand entrepreneurship education into ever younger populations
Supporters include the Association of Women’s Business Centers, Center for Women’s Business Research, Count Me In, Direct Selling Education Foundation, Enterprising Women, WEConnect International, Women Presidents’ Organization, and Women Impacting Public Policy.
Click here to download the full Roadmap to 2020 report.
Founded in 1975, NAWBO propels women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide. More than 35 years later, NAWBO is still the only organization that solely represents the interest of women entrepreneurs in all industries. The organization’s mission is to strengthen the wealth-creating capacity of its members and promote economic development; to create innovative and effective change in the business culture; to build strategic alliances, coalitions and affiliations; and to transform public policy and influence opinion makers. To learn more about NAWBO, visit www.nawbo.org.
Learn About NAWBO in Person
When: Saturday, October 30. 2010 10 AM to Noon
Grace Robinson Insurance Agency
Providing Insurance and Financial Services
5108 Baum Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
To Learn About NAWBO During the
National and Local Fall Membership Campaign
Meet the Current Board and Find out about upcoming board vacancies
Learn about Branded NAWBO National Advocacy Efforts in DC for Women Business Owners
Find out about local NAWBO alliances and programs
Discover How a Board Position or Committee Membership with NAWBO Greater Pitt
can advance your business credibility
Help NAWBO Greater Pitt Develop Their 2011 Meeting and Outreach Program
Gather info on NAWBO National Resources and Partner Perks such as UPS special shipping rates
and PR Newswire Membership and others
Understand the Issues Facing Women Owned Business Nationally and Locally
Hear About Awards for which NAWBO Can Nominate Your Business
Be Informed about upcoming signature events for NAWBO
Make the Connection Awards
Girls Going Places Annual Conference
2011 NAWBO Day
You business can appear on the NAWBO PittsburghTV channel, be one of the first, register now!
Who Should Attend
Members, Prospective Members, Non Profit Leaders and Potential Sponsors
Take advantage of additional member discount membership rate offered by NAWBO Greater Pitt of $25.00 off membership in addition to rate offered by NAWBO National of $25.00 off annual rate
Current NAWBO Greater Pittsburgh
President, Maureen Ciarolla, AmeriSourceTrust, EnvyWhiteSmile
President Elect, Meenakshi Kapoor, Symphony Enterprises, LLC
Treasurer, Pat Staudt, Allegheny Marking
Immediate Past President, Jill Kummer, BlackTie-Pittsburgh
Public Relations Director, Joanne Quinn-Smith, Dreamweaver Marketing Associates
Finance Director, Diane Pearson, Legend Financial Advisors, Inc.®
Membership Director, Sunita Pandit, Mrs. Cardiology
Program Director, Mary Pam Kilgore, Kilgore Business Services
Public Policy Director, JoAnn R Forrester, SI Business Associates, Blue Ribbon Profiles
Your name could be on this list
Grace Robinson, State Farm Agent
Personal Message from Grace Robinson
If you are looking for a term insurance product that also accumulates a cash value, the State Farm® Return of Premium policy may be appropriate for your needs. Talk to StateFarm Agent, Grace Robinson today.
Grace Robinson, LUTC, MBA
State Farm, Agent
Grace Robinson Insurance Agency
Providing Insurance and Financial Services
5108 Baum Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
PA Best 50 Women In Business Award
“Every Day is an Opportunity to Serve You”
Signature quiche and scones sponsored by
Zoe’s Herbs & Teas
42 Wabash Street
West End Village
This is a no fee event but you must Register at:
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