What Does This Picture Say to You?

Well, I sent this photo to some friends and here are a few of the responses:

Close up of a sunflower communicating happiness

  • Happy
  • Sun
  • Good Morning
  • Happiness
  • Growth
  • Summer Sunshine
  • Dove Field (ranks among the best)
  • Sunflower (needed to add, I’m a plant I can’t speak any words you idiot!), and
  • Purdy.

It’s simply amazing when you think of all the images that our eyes and mind process every day. Many of these images actually speak to us and some don’t. Think of all the words one image can communicate where not a word is spoken.

Where is the expression/body language …

Rachel and I recently watched Hitched, a 1995 movie (it tells you how up to date our movie watching is!) starring Will Smith. In the movie, he says communication is 60% expression and body language, 30% tone and only 10% verbal. Close your eyes for a minute and think about those percentages. Now think about today’s communications: With texting and emails probably constituting 80% of today’s communication, his calculation of expression and body language means 90% of communication is not utilized … because we’re just using electronic means to talk to one another.

… and where is the tone?

The unfortunate part is that because these two aspects of communications are largely missing, they can become implied. Seriously, have you ever read an email and wondered why the person seemed so uptight, angry, or just uninviting? I’ve even gone back to a previous email I sent to see if I said something that was misinterpreted. The fact is,  that we really don’t know what the person’s tone is because we can’t hear it; personally, I try to create a tone based on words on a sheet of paper (or screen), but not everyone bothers.

Try calling or visiting an old friend and reopen the lines of communications in your life.

I’m not quite sure why I remember this but I do. It was a television commercial from many years ago. It was for United Airlines. A bunch of sales people and executives sitting around a large conference table. The boss is walking around the table handing out airline tickets to everyone seated at the table. He is saying something to the effect, “we are all going to make some personal visits to our clients.” One of the attendees ask the boss, “and where are you going?” He pulls an airline ticket out of his back pocket and says, “I’m going to visit our oldest client.”

Translation: Nothing can replace personal contact.

Modern communications are an amazing thing. One of the things that is funny to me is that I can’t hardly remember a time when we didn’t have cell phones. I don’t know about you, but I have enjoyed some good laughs texting, and some of the jokes that have crossed my desk via email have been great; however, they can’t replace real live human interaction.

Humans need personal interaction.  Now I know there are some fellow introverts out there, but we all need it, albeit maybe in varying amounts. Remember the movie where Tom Hanks gets plane-wrecked on a remote island? An excellent example of what happens when we are removed from any human interaction.

Soulful Quote:

Communications are 60% expression & body language, 30% tone, and only 10% verbal – Will Smith’s character in Hitch (2005)


“Communication Breakdown” by Led Zepplin

Game Exercise/Life Changer:

Close your eyes and repeat the soulful quote. With your eyes still closed,  ask yourself “how can I bring back the 90% of communications lost in my life?” Meet an old friend or family member for coffee, lunch or maybe even an afterwork beverage this week. Make the time and make the agreement to leave your phones out of the conversations except to show a picture or two. Not only is this a really fun Game Exercise, but can be very rewarding in our pursuits of Happiness!

For more great soulful quotes, songs and game exercises, get a copy of  our book, Don’t Be a Cow! available online from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Independent Books.

And feel free to comment below: What does the SUNFLOWER say to You! 


PASSION: Is Yours Hiding? Live Happier. Live Well.

Passion: Is Yours Hiding?

I don’t know about y’all, but I think the word passion is under used and misunderstood today. Which I think is unfortunate. 

First, what passion is (according to me): Passion is an internal feeling about something, someone (LOVE!), or someplace. Passion comes from the heart, or for those of you that believe the heart is simply an organ that pumps blood, passion comes from our soul. 

A human being consists of three parts: the mind, the body and the soul (or spirit if you prefer). Passion comes from the soul. The great thing about passion is that it totally ignores the mind and the body. Think about it. You wake in the morning and your “passion” is telling you a doughnut and latte is a must for breakfast today. There is nothing the mind or body can do to stop you. We generally refer to this type of passion as a craving. Likewise, passion tells us to ignore the mind telling us what other people may think or say about us when we are following our passion. “This is just too important of an issue to care about what people are thinking or saying.”

Today’s Misunderstanding:

Today people often confuse passion for fanaticism. In conversations I have had with people, I can sense caution when I use the word passion because they now associate passion with fanaticism. Passion doesn’t necessarily mean running through the streets screaming at the top of your lungs, it doesn’t require you to lay in the middle of the road, or chain yourself to a tree. And, it certainly doesn’t involve being vulgar, mean, rude, or threatening. In fact, I would say that these are just the opposite of passion.

Remember the three parts of the human? The mind, the body and the soul (heart)? Passion comes from the heart whereas, fanaticism comes from the mind. The mind convinces us that we must do these things to be heard and/or to be seen. Although it may be true that you are seen on the nightly news and you may even be heard but … is anyone listening? These types of tactics appease the mind that you are popular, that you are making a difference. But, are you? Admittedly there are times for extremes measures, but they are far and few between.

Now I must get back to Passion (for this is mine!):

Passion is an internal driver. It has no, or very little need, to appease the mind. Passion is that thing that should drive your life and it likely will change throughout your life. We should feel passionate about what we are doing each and every day. When Rachel and I were raising our kids, our passion was raising kids. Now that they have all moved out, our passions have shifted. It’s not so important as to what your passions may be at any one point in time. It’s important that you have passion. If we are not careful, it’s easy to lose passion. It can sometime get run over on that highway called everyday living.

Passion Check, Break it Down!

Passion: Pass – i – on – passing (sharing) – i (a part of yourself) – on (with others) (my apologies to the phonetics out there). Our destiny in life is sharing our talents for the benefit of others – Passion; Pass it on!

Remember, remember where passion lives? The heart. When our passion dies, so does our heart. As a person with heart disease, believe me it’s no fun when the heart dies. 

Rachel and I hope that if your passion has been running low, you will take the time to rekindle it. It is a must for living a happier lifestyle.

Soulful Quote:

“Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm” (passion!) – Winston Churchill


“Bridge over Troubled Waters” written by Paul Simon performed by Simon & Garfunkel.

Game Exercise/Life Changer: Take a few minutes to reflect on your passion. What is it today that is motivating you? Nothing? Let’s see if we can change that!

What is Your PASSION! Share it with us below: