Source of Good

Talent is God-given. Be humble.
Fame is man-given. Be grateful.
Conceit is self-given. Be careful.

~John Wooden

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Picking vs Being

(Did you notice how bad yesterday’s post was? It was sent in error while still in draft mode. So here is the full version.)

When we spend our energy trying to get something, that energy is often wasted.

It’s easy to think that the way to a long and happy relationship is to pick the right mate.

Or the way to a great career is to choose the right job.

While the selection process is certainly important, the belief that your happiness or success is totally dependent on something outside yourself is dangerous.

The problem is this. If you pick wrong, then you have resigned yourself to failure. If you pick right, then you enslave yourself.

You squash growth, because the thing is good, not your efforts. If the thing goes bad, then your only choice is to be unhappy or leave.

The alternative is to focus on being good. Not picking good.

Be a good mate, and you will get a good mate.

Be a good worker and you will find a good job.

Be a good friend and you will attract good friends.

If you find yourself in a bad situation today, change your being first, and an improved (job, relationship, friendship) will almost always follow.

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What We Don’t Understand

We admire things we don’t understand.

Once we finally understand them, we stop admiring and start resenting.

And yet, the thing itself never changed.

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The Value of Promise

The value of your promise is worth less than 1/100th the value of your recent actions.

You can spend your energy trying to TELL everyone your intentions. And most won’t believe you anyway.

Or you can change.

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A Mental Hug

Do you ever get instantly angry, because of something that someone does to you?

This happens to me sometimes in stores.  It’s more frequent while driving.


Someone cuts me off in traffic, and my blood goes from 98 degrees (not the boy band) to boiling point in under a second.

As angry as I am, though, I don’t really hate them.  I don’t really want revenge.  I’m just… mad.

To instantly diffuse that anger, I started giving out mental hugs.

Even though I’m mad, I pretend to give them a hug.

It does two things:

  1. Makes me realize their humanity.  They are a person, just like me, who is sometimes selfish, broken, messed up, or whatever else… just like me.
  2. Makes me laugh.  It’s completely ridiculous, and that lightens me right up.

Give it a try, it’s kinda funny.  And it sure beats fuming over it for the next 30 minutes.

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Fat Tuesday

Today is a day marked by indulgence, by most.

Let me issue you a challenge.

What if you separate yourself from the majority?

What if you use today as extra motivation to be fit, instead of an excuse to stray from your goals?

Phat Tuesday

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A Dog’s Guide to the Corporate World

[Today’s guest post comes from Mr. Pilot James, AKA “Pilot”, a Doberman Pinscher who will be celebrating his second birthday this year.  I’ve known Pilot for a little over a year, and seeing him grow from just a puppy into a dog has been quite the journey.  I hope you enjoy the wisdom he shares.]

A Dog’s Guide to the Corporate World

PilotI’d like to start off by thanking you for taking the time to read this.  I know you’re busy, and you have more email in your inbox than ever before.  This Information Age is really taking its toll!  You could be doing countless other things, but you chose to read my article.  Thank you.

A little about me.  I was born in a small town in North Carolina, just past Concord Mills Mall (if you know where that is).  I moved to Charlotte when I was about three months old.  I currently live with my mom (I know, lame).  But in my defense, I’m not even two yet.

That’s a picture of me.  Sorry it’s grainy, but I downloaded it from Facebook.  I can’t take my own pictures.  No thumbs.

So I’d like to talk a little bit about my success in the corporate world.  And I’ve identified some tips that you can copy for your own promotion.

Keep Your Coat Shiny

I’m not sure who said it, but you’ve probably heard the quote, “Don’t dress for the dog you are. Dress for the dog you want to be.”

This is so true.  Refer to my picture.  My nails are trimmed, my fur is clean (and shiny), and my tie is straight.  If someone likes your outward appearance, they will trust your inner self.

I remember this one time when I just got done playing in the mud, and didn’t have time for a bath.  I heard the doorbell ring, and I sprinted over there as fast as I could.  You should have seen the mailman’s expression!  He must have thought I was some kind of scary dog fighter or something.  I explained it, and we had a good laugh.  But – imagine if I needed him to approve my time card?

It’s just a good habit to always look your best.

Wag Your Tail

Be excited to see other people at the office.  Show them your enthusiasm.

Look, I know.  You spend too much time at work.  It’s frustrating.  It’s annoying.  And the people don’t make it any better.

But the truth is – it’s that way for everyone else, too.  People aren’t like dogs in that they don’t automatically get excited when other people are around.

But people do like to be liked.  And they do respond in kind.

That means they will like you more, and they too will be more friendly if you are first.

Give Treats Often

From a practical standpoint, you should give dogs more treats.  What do they cost, like five cents?  And they’re delicious!  We don’t even mind sitting or what not.  If you take one thing away from this article, make sure you give dogs more treats.

In the corporate world, it’s the same thing.  It’s nice to know that someone noticed your work.  That someone noticed you.  And a great way to do that is to give them a “treat”.  It might be an email, an in-person thank you, or an actual award of some sort.  It doesn’t matter what its form, just that it’s given freely.

Now, a word of caution – you can overdo this.  If there is no fulfillment in the work itself, that is – if it’s mundane and pointless, or worse – stressful, then treats won’t fix that.

But if the work is fulfilling, and the treats are good – you will have a day at the park.

Earn Your Treats (even when nobody is watching)

From the other side of that coin, do whatever you can to constantly earn treats.

Whether or not someone asks you to sit, sit.  Or in people terms, “add value”.

And when you’ve sat already, just keep going.

Nobody’s going to be mad if you lay down before they ask.  Or if you keep going and just roll over.

In fact, just do all your tricks (add constant value), regardless of the commands you receive.

It works every time.  Mom says, “Sit.”  And then I do all my tricks (while wagging my tail), and she bursts out laughing.  She loves it!

So too, will your boss and coworkers love it.

Give Back

TakeYourDogToWorkDayOne last thing.  I’m pretty involved in this charity that supports bringing dogs into the workplace.  If you liked this article, please consider giving a donation to Take Your Dog to Work Day, a nonprofit organization.

Thanks guys, I hope to write again soon!



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Happy (Chinese) New Year!

Year of the SnakeToday is the first day of the Chinese New Year.  We bid farewell to the dragon, and welcome the year of the snake.

Here are a few tidbits about the year of the snake:


2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, etc.


Red, Black, Light Yellow


Acute, Aware, Cunning, Proud, Vain, Vicious


Ox & Rooster




2, 8, 9


Orchid, Cactus

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Bobservation’s 100th Birthday!

100th BirthdayThis marks the 100th post on Bobservation!

I started writing just over a year ago, with little no direction, no goals, and no vision.

If I set out to write 100 blog posts, I would have written every day for a week.  Then I’d realize my progress was less than 10%, and I would quit.

My only focus was to keep writing.  Whether it was every day, once a week, or once a month… I wanted to keep writing.

So far so good.

Here are some of my favorites of the first 100:

Agree?  Disagree?  After the next 100 are written, I’ll be doing a “most popular” list.  If you have some favorites, give them a thumbs up on the website to vote.

Thanks for reading!

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The Relief of Friday

Happy Friday!

After four gruelsome (or awesome) days, the last day before the weekend is here.

Are you tired or energized?  Drained or engaged?

For the ambitious among us, we often rationalize that we must do more in order to get where we want to be.

The desire to do more is good.  That is, until it paralyzes us into doing nothing.

He-Man says, "Master Consistency!"

If you find yourself struggling to achieve what you want to achieve, try doing less.  Ignore the voice inside your head that says “less isn’t enough”.  Or “doing less is compromising my dreams”.

Change your thinking.  I liked this quote from my pastor this week:

Doing less isn’t a compromise.  Doing less is a start.

The only thing that matters is consistent effort toward your goals.  How much, how hard, how heavy, and how fast are nothing more than distractors.  They only matter once you’ve MASTERED consistency.

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