Fuji mountainclimbing

The following ideas, thoughts, and interesting tidbits are taken from Paul Huschilt’s Expect Everything bi-weekly (more or less) newsletter. You’ll be inspired to tackle your day-to-day challenges at work or home or wherever with humour and insight, or maybe you’ll just take a break and laugh…

The Difference Between 99 and 100 is Night and Day

I was working the other night and I leaned back, read over what I wrote, and I thought to myself “well, that’s good enough”.  And then I read it again and thought “well, is it really?”  Should I settle for good enough?

A few months back I was lucky enough to see the total eclipse.  Here in Toronto the eclipse was 70% – i.e. 70% of the sun gets blocked by the moon.  Interesting for sure.  But my father, who has now seen 5 eclipses, told me to do what it takes to see the total eclipse.  I was skeptical, but sometimes you have to listen to your dad.

1300 flat boring kilometres stood between me and the closest point on the line of “Totality”.  Predictions of gridlock on highways in the area were dire.  But I booked the closest room possible, put extra rations of water and food in the car, and headed southwest.

I found the perfect spot by a lake right on the eclipse line and got there hours early.  By the time the eclipse started, there were about 20 people nearby.  We all carefully watched through welder’s glass as a bite sized chunk of sun was eaten by the moon.  At about 70% the excitement started as the light began to change.  It was pretty cool, and what I would have experienced at home.

But then the rules of daytime began to break.  The temperature started to drop.  Daylight dimmed but things started to look sharper.  At 95% percent, everyone was excited and yelling out something to notice – “Look at the sky” “Look at the lake” “I can see stars”.  At 99% – the classic image of a point of light instead of the sun.  And then, with one cosmic click, the lights went out.  Suddenly it was nighttime. The difference between 99% and 100% was the difference between night and day.

Seriously, it was awesome.  More amazing than I would have believed and worth every minute of the time spent in the world’s largest traffic jam afterward.  I would have found 70% in Toronto interesting, but with some effort I was able to experience a 100% total eclipse.

All of this to say that while sometimes good enough is enough, sometimes it might be worth reaching for that extra percent.  Think about your current projects – at work, at home, things with the family – and consider what you could get if you spent that extra effort.

The difference in rewards could be night and day.

Do You Know Your Audience – Even if They are Birds?

Do you know your audience?  From speaking to people in an elevator to posting an image in social media, you should always know who is in front of you.  But what do you do if you suddenly find yourself in front of 35,000 parrots?  I found a way to interest them.  I didn’t realize they were paying attention to me, but they all raised their voices when i jumped up.  Who would think wild parrots could be so much fun?

Watch the short video HERE


Dessert Anyone? How to get through the difficult tasks…

Have you ever been served a dessert that was so big you thought to yourself, “I will not eat this entire thing. I’ll be disciplined and just have a taste.”

You take a good forkful and enjoy it, knowing that you are indulging yourself just a bit but being good about eating just enough.  But then, bit by bit, you carve off slivers of divine buttery sugary fatty goodness. Sure, you stop eating every so often while you do something else  until it calls you again – by name – and then you devour more in tiny grudgingly disciplined bits.

Then you ignore it again.

For a while.

At some point you look over and realize there is so little left it’s easily eaten guilt-free. And so you finish it.

That happened to me on a train home over the weekend. All of a sudden it seemed silly not to complete what I had started – a ginormous piece of layered butter-icinged chocolate cake. At a critical juncture, it would have been wasteful not to polish it off.

And so I ate it all.

This month, how about looking at something on your todo list as dessert. Find that task that you just keep putting off.  You know the one – a little difficult to work through with just a few too many bites.  If you chip away at it long enough, you will suddenly find it irresistible to finish.  You’ll be happy to check it off your list, and, with no calories!


We Can Fly!!

I have to travel a lot in my business, much of the time by air.  For me it’s become just another mode of transportation.  I’d like to be a jet-setter of the 1960’s or at least still fascinated by being airborne.  But for me and likely most of us planning a trip, flying has been reduced to playing the games created by airlines, reducing costs as much as possible and maximizing loyalty points.

Amazingly, the excitement of flying came back last week.  I was on a small prop jet that was literally a puddle jumper.  In the row ahead were two young children, aged about four and six (Mom was nearby across the aisle).  These kids were not worried that they paid more or less than the people around them.  They were not worried about the airline knowing them.  They were about to fly.  FLY!  It’s like something from a dream. Read More

Where does humour come from?

Paul's "Where Does Humour Come From?"

A Time Limited Offer – Parking!

We all have pet peeves. Mine is street parking. Well, not exactly. I actually enjoy lining up the front doors, turning the wheel one full rotation, backing up until a voice inside my head tells me to stop. Forward. Back. Forward. Back…

After squeezing two tons of steel into a space the size of an empty can of soup, I feel I’ve accomplished something. My day’s work is done.

Except it isn’t. Because in Toronto at least, if you are lucky, you get one hour to park.  If you are lucky. Read More

Are You a Happy Bump on a Log?

On a recent trip to Winnipeg, I visited a nature museum which included a large terrarium of a marsh. All of the soggy suspects where there including three very happy turtles.

It’s actually pretty hard to tell if a turtle is happy or not. But they did move their heads every couple of minutes, which I took as euphoric turtle self-expression. Read More

What to Learn from Hummingbirds

I spent the last weekend of summer hanging out with family in my sister’s backyard. We had some visitors – Hummingbirds. 12 of them according to the consensus of those who cared to count.

They are cute, tiny, and amazing little helicopters. But these perfect little flying machines have some issues. Read More

It Might be Cold this Summer

It’s the height of summer here in the Great White North. Well, sort of Great White. The white gave way to green gave way to greenish brown. It’s somewhere in the high 30’s C and the birds and squirrels are heading for shade. Even the raccoons are trading in their fur coats for Hawaiian shirts. Read More