The Story About My Mother and Moses.

“Me shooting 40% at the foul line is just God’s way to say nobody’s perfect.” —Shaquille O’Neal

A story about my mother:

About five years ago, my mother was asked to serve on the board of directors at my synagogue. They asked her to write a short essay about her favorite moment from Jewish history. They wanted to publish it in the next synagogue newsletter.

Mom’s not much of a writer, but she got into the assignment. She spent a few days writing the essay. She wrote and re-wrote the essay. She kept us updated on her progress.

At the end of the week, she finally had a draft ready. I’m the editor in the family, and so she gave her essay to me.

Like I said: Mom’s not much of a writer, but she worked really hard on this one. And it showed.

Her essay was about the story of the exodus from Egypt, and it was a nice essay.

There was only one problem: My mother had written all about the parting of the Red Sea, and how Noah — not Moses — had been the one to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

“Uh, ma,” I told her. “It would’ve been way easier to get across the water if they’d had Noah and his ark.”

Point is: My mother is a remarkable woman. She’s one of the best networkers I know. She loves to help. And she’s a fantastic project manager.

She just knows how to make stuff happen.

But she also knows her weaknesses, and one of them is writing. She needs an editor — or sometimes two.

What I love is that she’s always willing to ask for help on these things. She’s willing to recognize her weaknesses.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all need it.

Sometimes, we’re just too stubborn or too vain to ask for it.

But we can’t be. Not when we’ve got work this important to do.

We can always use help to get it right.

Today Is Awesome. Can We Just Recognize That For A Second?

Double Rainbow!

“Do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.” — Ben Franklin

I don’t write about religion very often on the blog — at least a serious discussion of religion, that is — and there’s a good reason for that: I’m not a very religious person.

So I won’t get preachy here. But I learned something last week during Yom Kippur services at my synagogue, and it was too good not to share.

My rabbi gave a sermon about the importance of time. In the Torah, if you go all the way back to the beginning, God creates the heavens and the earth. Then God blesses something. It is the very first thing that God blesses, according to the Torah.

It’s the Sabbath day.

“And God blessed the seventh day and He hallowed it,” reads a line from Genesis.

What a wonderful thought that is. The day itself is a holy thing, the Torah teaches. It is not to be squandered. It is to be cherished and celebrated.

These are the days we have, and we are so freaking lucky to have them.

Can we just appreciate that for a second?

Photo via PegiF.

Excuses We All Tell Ourselves.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change. — Brené Brown

There is a voice in the back of your head that’s trying to tell you that what you want to do cannot be done.

All of us hear that voice. It leaves us wondering things like:

Where do I even begin to start?

Tomorrow will be better.

What if it doesn’t work?

I’m scared.

I’m worried.

I doubt.

I fear.

I’m not sure this is the right path.

I don’t know enough to get moving.

I’m a fraud. Doesn’t everyone know I can’t do this?

If this fails — I’m a failure.

Wrong. So, so SO wrong.

Many days, you are your own biggest hater. I know I am some days.

I doubt. I fear. I worry.

It happens to all of us. Every single one of us who does this work — we fight these voices off every day.

But there is a way past it.

Commit to the work. Hustle. Follow your effort. Start, and then keep going.

The voices don’t go away. But over time, you learn how to crush them. You learn how to fight them off.

Don’t let them overwhelm you. You have enough — right now, I promise you — to start. You have much more than you know.

Work, don’t worry.

That fortune cookie photo comes via @nellicoco.

The October Edition of The Awesome File.

Every month, I put together a list of 10 things to inspire you to do better work. This is The Awesome File.

Inside this month’s Awesome File: Lessons from NYC! Adorable puppies! Rock and Roll! And Richard Freaking Branson!

1. READ: ‘Fifty Important Lessons New York City Taught Me’

This was a fantastic read on things the amazing things in life. It features lessons like:

-If You Don’t Care, No One Will
-You Can Only Control What You Do
-There Are All Kinds Of Thanksgivings
-Small Is Magnificent

Read it, and then read it again.


This feels like a website that should have happened a long time ahead: Puppystream, an endless display of adorable photos of puppies. If you’re in a bad mood, go to this site and spend 20 seconds there. You’ll feel better.

3. LOVE: Richard Brason, Flight Attendant.

Here’s Richard Branson serving drinks on a Virgin American flight. As a reminder: Virgin America is the airline owned by Richard Branson.

And as a corollary: This interview from the same flight with Branson, in which the guy who owns several bazillion dollars worth of airlines can’t remember the word “conveyor belt.”

4. READ: ‘Boys Will Be Boys’

Speaking of ridiculousness: This behind-the-scenes look at the 1990s Dallas Cowboys reveals that life in the NFL is absolutely insane. Fighting, drugs, hookers, limos — and that’s just Super Bowl XXX.

5. ENJOY THE AWESOME: Snoop Dogg on ‘Price is Right’

Also on the note of absurdity: Snoop Dogg was a guest host on “The Price is Right” a few weeks back, and him hugging this Showcase Showdown winner was absolutely epic.

6. LOVE: Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel sing ‘Les Mis’

Let’s keep the awesome rolling: The “How I Met Your Mother” team goes Broadway.

7. READ: ‘Did Blowing into Nintendo Cartridges Really Help?’

And speaking of bad segues: This was a fantastic piece of reporting.

(Actually, on a sad note: it’s more thorough than a lot of the real news reports you’ll see in many publications.)

8. LEARN: Why Politicians Talk The Way They Do

I also really enjoyed this look at the origins of our political speech.Who knew that that’s why Bubba was such a good speaker?

9. SEE: This NYT Magazine Cover

This photo from Cuba was absolutely mesmerizing. (The article attached to it wasn’t bad either.)

10. ROCK ON: Led Zeppelin + Foo Fighters

Let’s close this out the right way: With Foo Fighters and Led Zeppelin playing “Rock and Roll” for 80,000 screaming fans in London.

Turn it up, and let the awesome happen this month:

That fake eCard at top comes via.