Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

Are you among the select few who both make and keep new year's resolutions? Maybe you're not...

I have good news! You can change.

You can improve by taking two actions, now:

(1) Make one commitment only
75% of all failure begins with unrealistic commitments. Only if you have succeeded before, then you may increase the number of goals to two, or maybe even three. But again, that's only if you have succeeded with one goal in the past. Stay true to this focus and you'll find that this time it will actually happen. Believe me!

(2) Put your goal in writing
Where only 25% succeed in setting realistic goals, of these appx 80% fail by not writing them down and by doing it the wrong way. Your likelihood of success will increase dramatically if you carefully produce text to answer each of these four areas:

Discover MISSION (Is it important? Specify WHY you should.)

Kindle PASSION (Do I really want it? Specify WHAT you want.)

Make CONNECTION (To whom does it matter? Specify WHO.)

Use INTUITION (Do I know how? Specify HOW you will.)

Why you will succeed
If you're among the 5% who make it this far (actually it's only 4%) you'll be taking steps to actually having chosen your own direction in life. The "how to" might include small but important actions, such as:
  • Producing posters and reminders to keep your goals visible at all times
  • Keeping score and report daily and/or weekly
  • Splitting your goal into smaller commitments, either in time and/or parts
  • Deciding how you will celebrate victories
  • ...and more
Most importantly, realize that you can remake your commitment anytime (for instance I view every Sunday as a "new year" opportunity). Failure isn't failure unless you fail to try again. This time you will succeed, not because you're so much better, but because you decide to keep at it until you've conquered. Every failure only proves how important this is to you and can make you want it more than you did before. Every time you try you're a little closer to actually making that change or improvement! See failure as a step towards success. It's positive.

It's not hard to reach a goal. What's hard is to apply yourself to actually change. It's hard to keep it simple and apply yourself to this two-step process - 1) making a goal and 2) stick to it until you've done it (once it's written the right way, it becomes real, you'll see). Remember that goals are goals as long as you are determined to reach them. That's why we should use every failure to build, rather than destroy, our Mission, Passion, Connection and Intuition!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Odd Nordstoga Among My Favorites!

Like most people I too have had many favorite songs over the years. About three years ago I had a live concert experience with Odd Nordstoga singing his "Dagane" (eng: "The Days") which is still on top of my list.

The lyrics are about how a husband and wife continually need to reach for each other and how this is the main reason for a successful marriage. This makes it all the more appropriate for Odd Nordstoga to now perform this fanTAStic song as a duet with Sissel Kyrkjebø.

Here's a live performance of Dagane by Odd Nordstoga and Sissel Kyrkjebø as part of a Christmas concert. Remember to turn up the volume just a tiny bit ;-)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Google Task List in Google Calendar

YESSS! Finally Google put the task list in their calendar, too. By default it's up in the top left corner.

I'm just another happy user. This gives me the same feeling as that of a Christmas gift. And just maybe that's exactly what it is..? Thank you, Google! ;-)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Did You Play With Your Kids Today?

One of the first signs I frequently read as a six year old was the one sticker my dad placed on the rear window of our car. It posed a simple question:

"Did you play with your kids today?"

Now - when my own children ask me to play with them - this question always rings in the back of my head. It seems to have burned itself into my memory helping me to respond positively.

Family acrobatics with the youngest!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Magnus Carlsen World's Best Chess Player

Today our own Magnus Karlsen in all practicality became the youngest Chess player ever to hit the top of the official ranking list.

I've been following Magnus Karlsen out of pure interest for his amazing talent. Technically he hasn't made it to the top, yet. He's currently participating in tthe London Chess ClassicBut tomorrow, regardless of the outcome of the last game he will triumphantly pass Veselin Topalov.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Audi e-tron the Electrifying Force

Audi e-tron is an ELECTRIC car, quite literally.

OK. Like I said before, I'm not much into cars or boats, but design inspires me. I also especially like design that takes it one step further, but at the same time is able to stay true to its roots. Maybe most of all, design that underscores the basic features of a product: Audi e-tron is still a car!

Check out the spec of this car, which is not just a concept car. This one's going to hit the road for real. I'm impressed!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Living in Grenland

Today I was asked to comment on the brand new commercial "movie" about Grenland.

If you want to see my response at TV Telemark you should fastforward three minutes into the program.

The 5 minute clip at YouTube shows you what it's like to live where we live and what Grenland has to offer (...there's actually a brief showing of our offices in there, too). I'm thinking; why would anyone prefer e.g. Oslo to Grenland?! If you need more than one reason why you should check out Grenland, or at least visit, go see my post from last year on "Why we live in Skien".

My compliments to Vekst i Grenland and the people behind the production of this wonderful display of Grenland. Grenland deserves the attention. Don't let anyone tell you anything else!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Expressing Love and Appreciation...

Today one of our young one's entered the room early early morning and with emphatic exhuberance exclaimed as she entered the room:

"I love you, daddy!"

What a wonderful way to start the day ;-)

Take it from me. If we begin each day with the right slant it can make a tremendous difference! It did for me this day.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Network: Board Members in Norway

Just recently a group of key people in Norwegian business began building a network of Board members in Norway at LinkedIn. The group already counts more than 800 people.

This is a strictly Norwegian speaking forum. Interesting to witness the growth of this. Would it not be helpful to have a group of professionals to turn to for hard questions that a board frequently encounters?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Why Google makes great software

Now I know why Google makes great software - at least I think I do...

I had the privilege of having dinner with Jan Grønbech, Google's Country Manager for Norway. What really hit home to me is the kind of quality person he is. It was easy to strike up a good conversation and he's a sincere listener.

I'm thinkin' Google does an excellent job at hiring "the right people" and thus; smart products and clever solutions - in short - great software becomes a natural bi-product of such a strategic choice.

Jan Grønbech impressed 172 people at IKT Grenland ARENA. While presenting the Google culture and the philosophy and strategy of company decisions I received overwhelmingly positive feedback from everyone, both at the event itself and all throughout the following day. Wauw!

Jan Grønbech's presentation will be available at YouTube early next week.

p.s. The local newspaper, Varden, did an article on the Google presentation also found online.
p.s.s. NRK did another article on the Google visit to Klosterøya.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Huge gap between theory and practice

You know, there usually is a HUMONGOUS gap between theory and practice.

As a trainer I seldom experience people that naturally embrace top notch business practice. Most of the time a lot of personal follow up is required to get people moving. So, I'm thinking; I know I want to be the kind of person with a DO IT mentality. The same goes for my family.

Last year I was introduced to some of the most powerful action oriented theory I've ever encountered in the world of business. It's called The Four Disciplines of Execution and helps people and teams seriously get down to business:
  1. Identify Wildly Important Goals (WIG's)
  2. Focus on lead measures
  3. Create a compelling scoreboard
  4. Establish a cadence of accountability

Well, we're doing it in our family - right now - as we speak. And I have to say... I've NEVER before seen such a phenomenal change and impact on my own kids. They're running around like crazy, motivated like never before. D'ya wanna know more..?! ;-)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gaia Ajax 3.6

Gaiaware, an IT company based at Klosterøya in Skien, just had its final release of Gaia Ajax 3.6!

This is a major step in smart web application development. Why? Because it's fast, lightfoot and intelligent.

Should development be fast? Of course it should be fast! I constantly interact with developers who are running behind schedule. Is it not time to be ahead of the game, deliver faster than expected and also produce high-speed web applications?

Do we want clean optimized best practice code? Of course we do. This is the way web applications should be built and ran. We're talking DRIMR technology.

Do you want to develop advanced web applications? This Ajax architecture instantly brings advanced ASP.NET Web App development right to your fingertips.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thierry Henry's Hand Of God Part II

I'm not much into football or soccer, but I still am deeply disappointed in Henry!

In today's dirty and money driven soccer arena not many players compel our respect and admiration. However, for me two players always seemed to kind of stand out, and just within a fairly short space of time both have dramatically and speedily fallen from their "thrones":

First, I am of course referring to Zinedine Zidane. What an amazing player, complete in every sense of the word. But just one simple howler completely ruined his reputation and mark on history. It even was his final game, for crying out loud!? Everyone knows and will remember Zidane's head butting that rude Italian player. Regardless of circumstance the action was inexcusable. I was, and quite frankly, it still saddens me when I watch it at YouTube. The drop from being the greatest player to "just like everybody else" was devastating.

Second, the other player I've enjoyed watching is, yes, you guessed it, Thierry Henry. Why, oh why, did Henry cheat like that in this important game versus Ireland??! It's so below his well established greatness these past years. What he did is a hundred times worse than losing. It simply is yet another very sad case in the sports arena if you're asking me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Don't taste it if you don't mean it!

Did you ever taste something and immediately go nuts? I mean, in a positive sense... Well, to experience the sensation again you'd better read this quick post:

I guess some of us value and appreciate good food more than others, and I know that compared to most people I'm pretty much "average" foodwise. But I do like good food ;-)

Taste is the secret!
In Norway there's a growing love for Bergby's sennep (mustard), and I say growing because no other competing mustards even come close to similar increased sales and numbers. The adoption in the market place is nothing but phenomenal.

What happened?! Well, people got the taste of it and the word gets around. I guess you could phrase it just like the AXE commercial: "Don't taste it if you don't mean it". My rough estimation is that 95% of people who try it are hooked.

And in case you're wondering... yes, I'm a HUGE fan, too!

Girls behaving like grown-ups?!

Just the other morning one of our twin girls asked mummy if today was their day off from kindergarten. When Lillian responded positively there was a spontaneous outburst while turning to her sister:

"Yessss. Give me five!"

...and then both of'em shared the sign of thumbs up and cheered in unison: "Yeah!"

My goodness! These are just small girls. Where do they get it from?!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Go programming language

If you're a developer, you might like to know that Google opened up on a two year project with a new programming language. It's called Go.

Go is designed to serve as a systems language, rather like C or C++, but it is extremely fast for development and for running speed in action. I'm going to talk with my developer friends to find out what they think about it. To me it sounds like a clever move.

BTW, the Norwegian Country Manager of Google is visiting Klosterøya on November 26th. Better not miss this opportunity ;-)

p.s. Did you know that there's an open source library available for ajax ASP.Net based development? And did you know it reduces time-to-market dramatically? My tip of the day.

Same sex marriage - yes or no?!

Mormon general authority and modern day apostle, Dallin H. Oaks, speaks on religious freedom and civil rights and explains how they are connected rather than being in opposition to each other.

Never EVER did I hear a better explanation of this subject. I strongly encourage you to listen to this public speech recently given at BYU Idaho (especially the latter half).

Also, I suggest we speak up for this important matter: The basic right for everyone, religious people included, to voice any opinion they may have in important matters of society.

Friday, November 6, 2009

LEGO robots have come to Grenland

Tomorrow is the big day. First LEGO League has reached Grenland, just like we promised it would last year. Here's a TV clip (in Norwegian) to illustrate what this is all about. (Fast forward 16 mins into the program to quickly find the relevant news.)

For more information about the program go to the IKT Grenland website or

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Youth was about don'ts, old age is about dos

In our mid-30's we gradually discover that life slows down. (Not activity wise, but mentally and physically.) Things no longer come to us without putting in some kind of effort, e.g. memorizing and learning, making changes, losing bad habits, bodily metabolism...

The don'ts
It seems as if my "youth" was about the don'ts... For instance, I've always kept away from tea, coffee, alcohol, tobacco and "harmful drugs". You might say, it kept me "out of trouble". These don'ts have always been pretty self evident to me.

The dos
However, the don'ts are no longer sufficient when you're coming closer to your 40's. You'll run into trouble for a lot less when you're getting older.

So, in my mind, our focus almost automatically switches to all the dos. It's not so much about what I should not eat any more, but rather it's about what I should eat that matters. I'm more careful to eat regularly, more slowly. I've also improved getting regular and moderate exercise. Vitamins is something I've grown to appreciate...

The change
The shift is simple. The way you view the picture of that sandwich just changes, doesn't it?!

Yepp. I guess these are among the first few processes that lead up to a midlife crisis, don't you think? ;-)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Green Eggs and Ham

That "Sam I am" is reeeeally pushing it, isn't he?!

Well, my kids love the story. Wait, I'm mistaken. They don't love it. They're crazy about it! And it's Sam's persistence that totally gets them. Pluss the fact that his chosen victim is so darn stubborn, isn't he. If he could only taste it, he'd see. Green eggs and ham aren't half that bad!

This evening I read the story to my kids, in English, again... You know they know it when a four-year old translates everything you say into Norwegian. (No, our four-year old twin girls do not speak English ;-) But this story, they can translate word for word - all the way through. Heh, how about that!

Dr Seuss' story is a classic among classics. Quite frankly, most Norwegians never heard it. That's why I'll give you the short cut to seeing it for yourself at YouTube (even though to fully appreciate the real deal it should be a read, not a feed!!).

BTW, did you know that Green Eggs and Ham is about selling?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Why gamble gambling?

I could never figure out why anyone would buy a lottery ticket! Today I came across a wonderful blog post on the subject by Seth Godin. His point of view is beautifully put forth: "It's not the destination, it's the journey".

Besides all the devastating side effects of gambling, to me gambling is like a game you can never win. In fact, just by "playing the game of gambling" you've chosen a loser's lifestyle.

Whenever I put it this bluntly some people respond by trying to defend the fact that many lotteries support charitable causes. Well, that only makes it worse though, doesn't it?! If you're going to support charity, at least do it secretly and without the selfish objective of getting something (I might add "much bigger") in return.

"Helping Clients Succeed" is world class

A year ago I browsed through the ES Research report on their thorough analysis of sales systems and vendors. When I learned that Franklin Covey's Helping Clients Succeed clearly came out as the best among them all - second year in a row - I just had to find out more!

Today I'm a certified facilitator and trainer in this system too, and yes, I understand why it came out on top, again! ;-)

--removed chart--

The high-end evaluation is measuring a combination of Solutions Range and Solutions Effectiveness. Mahan Khalsa and his book Let's Get Real or Let's Not Play is a winner!

In Grenland I'm delivering this training 9th - 11th of November. If you're in sales, you just don't want to miss it. To get other dates for training e.g. in Oslo and Bergen, send me a request.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Increasing interest for innovative design

Now that's what I call a boat! ...or rather, a yacht.

"You just gotta see" the graphical and architectural design teaser at YouTube for the Wally Hermès Yacht. Wauw!

I don't have an inherent interest in neither boats nor cars, but design and innovation connected is something that seriously inspires me. With my interest for "sales" and "selling" I've grown to appreciate how important design is to selling and sales success. It's about position and perception, which counts heavily in any situation where people need to be convinced.

There's a Norwegian company behind the development of the hull. Even though I'm not ready to enjoy such luxury myself, considering all the poverty and suffering people in the world, I do believe such an innovative industry does much good and is very much needed as a whole.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our dear friend

Some people just always serve by giving and giving and then giving again. Their lifestyle is simply "service to others".

We have a close and dear friend like that. When she visits with us she does nothing but help out all day - and night! And the best thing is, we can feel that she does it purely motivated by goodness. I wouldn't want to ruin her joy of rendering selfless and unpaid service by telling the world who she is.

I suspect by being anonymous the reward feels even better. However, we do want her to know that we appreciate all that she does. Of course we keep telling her in person, but this blog post is a tribute to you, *******. Thank you! You mean the world to us!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Clock backward or forward?

Tomorrow, this coming Saturday night, it's again --time to adjust time-- for Daylight Saving Time.

Now, do you remember whether it's one hour backward or forward? (BTW, did you know it actually varies across the globe, depending on where you live?) Here's how I remember whether it's one hour backward or forward...

Rule of thumb no 1
When winter is approaching and days grow darker, DST compensates by giving me an extra hour. I'm not too fond of the dark nights and the cold winters here in Norway.

Rule of thumb no 2
When summer approaches days grow brighter and to me it's kind of OK that DST steals an hour. It doesn't matter that I lose an hour of sleep, simply because I'm just so happy to see more light and warmer days anyway.

Funny, but those are my childish thoughts and how I always easily remember. So tomorrow night DST favors me ("comforts me") with an extra hour of sleep by letting me adjust time one hour backward.

Open Source is not the only one way

Since 2004 I've been working actively with Open Source as a business model. And I love it! However, unlike many others out there, I'm not an Open Source fanatic, i.e. I don't believe Open Source is the only way "to do software".

Open Source is a business model more than anything else.

As such, it's one of several options. There's a time and place for everything.

You're saying: "But Open Source is the future?!" Oh sure, I believe it holds a major place in future software. But just like any other business model, as circumstances change, so will our approach to making the necessary adjustments. I'm not saying we shouldn't proactively influence future trends and ways to share and innovate, but merely that...

"one way only seldom is the only one way".

Having been with eZ Systems for several years, the past two years I've also been closely involved with Gaiaware. Gaiaware just released its Gaia Ajax 3.6 Beta. If you're a developer using .Net, then this technology will blow you away! And yes, it's Open Source ;-)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The principle of reciprocation

Whatever you send out comes back. Here's one of the reasons why:

I just love the simplicity and power behind the principle of reciprocation. Robert Cialdini is a great authority on influence. May I suggest that you spend two minutes - two minutes only - to reflect on how you might change your basic approach while interacting with the people around you?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Evaluation as a means to improve

I love the principle of evaluation. It just makes so much sense to me:

Find out what worked out well and do more of it. Uncover what didn't work and either change or eliminate it.

And evaluation is so basic, isn't it? Evaluation is weeding out both success and failure from one and the same product. When we evaluate, the following inevitably will result:

What's being evaluated usually improves over time.

Evaluation is often forgotten, rarely done, and especially not done on a regular basis. We somehow tend to think it's not necessary because we're able to assess success and failure as we go. But no, effective evaluation actually takes conscious effort!

While I did another public speaking session this morning I made sure to catch the essence of it on film, taking another critical look at myself. Had I relied on external feedback alone, I would have concluded there was little room for improvement. BUT... my own perception of my own performance is also valuable. While watching and listening to myself I clearly saw that I need to do more storytelling. Every time I told a story energy went up. Theoretical jibberish should be brief and to the point. I should do less of it.

Remember what I said about storytelling? Well, maybe today I've become just a tiny bit better at it ;-)

Execution is what you want!

To execute a strategy takes more than just average leadership. Strategy execution is a skill you never learn in school. Then how should we get on top of this?

There are a number of things that make execution difficult. Two of them I find are particularly typical to the organizations I've worked with in the past, and it's the same pretty much everywhere you go. The tendency to be:

Quite dramatically different from what I did in the past, when I go into leadership coaching or other consulting type of stuff, I now focus on getting focus.

Getting focused can be a hard battle, and of many important things to remember, these are in fact the key challenges to actually obtain that focus:
Believe me, it'll change your LIFE!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A growing US deficit is seriously bad news!

I majored in Finance, but you don't need a degree in economics to understand this basic principle:

"Long term wealth grows when money is working for you. It's smart. Poverty is preceded by spending more than you have and when money is working against you. It's not smart."

The United States of America is spending too much money. Period!

Obama may be a wonderful person, even a charismatic individual, but Obama's administration is simply on the wrong track to fix the economy. You just don't spend that much money without a plan on how to repay your debts. (Yes, I know what you're thinking, but remember, the subject I'm on about is long term wealth.)

And why am I concerned? Simply because the economy is increasingly interdependent and global. The US economy will affect everyone else. So yes, the decisions made in Washington should concern European citizens (again, long term) just as much as it does any American. That's why I second Tony Blankley's statement: "Don't increase benefits; cut costs. Now".

While in the US these past weeks I enjoyed a favorable exchange rate, but quite frankly, I'd rather pay more for every US dollar, simply because I believe that's what the global economy needs - long term.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Children can be tough critics

This morning I had... an interesting experience. You may laugh, but it did take me a few seconds to "enjoy" the hard learnt lesson in this one:

As you might know, storytelling is actually a very important part of what I do for a living. During training, it's extremely important to relate relevant stories to exemplify the principles behind what is being taught. People love the entertainment and real-life practicality that stories provide. And as a matter of fact, I like to think I'm not too bad at it - at storytelling, I mean.

Well, early this morning Lucy, who's our four year old daughter, jumped into our bed while everybody was still asleep. So, I decided to tell her an exciting fairytale. I was about half way and all enthused about the tension I had created when she cut me short and whispered: "Dad, let me tell you another story that's a lot more exciting than this one..!"

Well, there you go ;-) Young children can sometimes give us the most valuable feedback, i.e. I guess I still have a lot of room for improvement in this area.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Visiting Performing Arts Management at BYU

Today Eivind and I visited the BYU and Performing Arts Management. Again, I was so impressed with all of them. They are such wonderful quality people, and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to interact so closely with them.

From the right: Annalace Boothe, Brad Robins, Logan Wilkes, Edward Blaser, Randy Boothe, Eivind Top, Vidar Top

When the Young Ambassadors from BYU came to Norway, the students at Hjalmar Johansen high school got so excited they wanted to return the visit by traveling to Utah. I was asked to help them produce the revenue to make such a trip possible. By selling and promoting the DVD they produced of the Young Ambassadors show, it now looks like this trip is going to take place in February 2010.

After today's meeting I can hardly wait till they find out all the great stuff that's awaiting them during this visit. It'll be a lot of fun!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Information keeps surprising us

As a young boy I often heard senior people talk about how important information is. It actually took me years to appreciate the depths of what they were talking about. But you know, listening to CEO of Google Eric Schmidt, I believe very few of us - if any - really understand the deep implications structured information handling will have on our lives.

Maybe, just maybe, this is the most dramatic change that the 21st century holds for us.

Eric Schmidt is on my list of "Great people".

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Self esteem to combat challenges

One of the privileges of being a parent is the opportunity to revisit all the challenges from our own childhood. Only this time, we have the chance to facilitate, rather than "solve".

Even this morning our oldest daughter and I had a long and meaningful conversation about all the things that happen at school and in other settings. How easy it is - as a parent - to jump in with solutions and conclusions (because everything our children say usually brings us straight back to our own early years, right..?!). On the other hand, how much quality is added to the interaction when we leave the talking and the problem solving to our kids. They have the answers. All we need to do is listen and reassure. Don't you find the same?

Here's what I believe really matters when young people are faced with challenges:

(1) Select good friends
Let's face it. Everything that has real value in life is pretty much dependent on the people around us.

Sometimes it's good for us to remember that we're not happhazardly subject to coincidence when it comes to the people we mix and interact with. We can choose our friends, just like we can choose to be a friend. Why not help our kids make up their minds as to what kind of a friend they want to be, as well as what kind of friends they want to have. The people around us powerfully influence how we feel about ourselves. I believe it makes ALL the difference!

(2) Develop a talent
How we feel about ourselves determines how active we are. And vice versa, how active we are determines how we feel about ourselves.

A talent does something with the way we perceive ourselves, and thus it directly affects our ability to lift ourselves out of any pit we might fall into. Like we've heard so many times before; the difference between success and failure is simply by how a successful person keeps getting up. Both the successful and the unsuccessful fail, but failure is only failure if at some point we decide not to keep trying.

Here are the lyrics of an inspiring song I learnt many years ago:

I'm not judged by the number of times I fail
but by the number of times I succeed
and the number of times I succeed is in direct proportion
to the number of times I fail, but keep trying

Keep trying, keep trying, keep trying
I will succeed if I keep trying
Keep trying, keep trying, keep trying
I will succeed if I keep trying

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Even Sandvold Roland

I've been listening to Even Sandvold Roland at IKT Grenland this evening, and I have to say: He impresses me!

But not only me. Another 125 other people were simply blown away by his perfect mix of great content, yet down to earth approach. He made web 2.0 or "Social Web" as a topic come alive to everyone. I can really recommend Even as a public speaker. He has brilliant stories to share and exemplifies what a lot of people should learn and hear about these days.

Make sure you don't miss it; here's Even Sandvold Roland's blog and here's the entire keynote at YouTube.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lest ye forget, lest ye forget!

How important it is to REMEMBER!

Just think about it. Tradition, history, memories, heritage, sudden ideas, good advice or inspiring words, discovered purpose, dreams, goals, plans or even newly acquired skills and training or whatever it may be. How do you remind yourself of the things that are most important to remember in your life? Where do you store it? How do you make it come back to you when you need it?

To illustrate, goals are per definition goals only when they are written down. Why? Because if they're not in writing we will tend to forget and lose our focus. I keep my goals in front of me constantly - in my pocket, above my bed, on my desk, my desktop and in my journal. Focus! Focus helps me to spend my strength on the most important and spontaneously serve in the moment.

Here's an article on the importance of taking notes.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why I get my exercise in the morning

I was going to list all the good reasons why I get my exercise during the morning hours. But you know what? The details really don't matter.

Bottom line is, when I exercise early morning, I just feel so much better than when I do so towards the end of the day. Conclusion: Evening exercise makes for an OK day. Morning exercise makes my day a great one!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

When life's tough!

Life can be challenging. Sooner or later everyone "get's it".

When I'm tempted to get emotional and bugged down with negative thoughts I automatically switch into a three step process:

(...and I just recently discovered this is what I'm doing)

(1) I look at myself from the outside
First I admit that I'm hurt and that I'm feeling down. If it's really bad and I'm in the middle of what seems like a serious crisis I might even express my feelings out loud. It helps to hear myself complain, because I quickly see how pathetic and self indulgent it sounds.

(2) I find a reference point
At this point I will think of all the people around me that are much worse off. I might think of people that are abused, physically disabled, hopelessly alone or even struck by terrible disaster. This kind of thinking makes me appreciate all the good things I still enjoy.

(3) I leverage from strength
Once I've caught hold of a positive thought or two, I leverage strength from this to consciously decide that my pain and frustration will not affect the people around me, but that I will do eXactly the opposite; lift and build others quite contrary to how I might feel. This helps me refocus on the people around me, which is so much more inspiring and productive.

Monday, September 14, 2009

First LEGO League kick-off

Remember I told you we'd bring First LEGO League to Grenland? Well, it's here! And it's so much more than merely LEGOs and robots.

The official site and information about the kick-off tomorrow at Klosterøya, Skien 4pm tells you (in Norwegian) that it's going to be a lot of fun. A lot of people will get together to mark the beginning of two months eager preparation for the big day Saturday November 7th in Skien Fritidspark.

On that day, youth ages 10-16 will compete in different fields, all based on a team effort. Our hopes are many, but most of all a) to trigger a keen interest for learning and b) to establish a closer relationship between business and local schools and their education programs.

The LEGO robot needs to complete a series of tough challenges! (Click the picture to get a feel for what this is all about.)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

When did I quit watching TV?

The other day I just realized... I hardly watch TV anymore. Now I'm wondering what happened?

I guess in many ways I've replaced TV time with time on the web. What I used to watch on TV was the news and maybe the odd movie now and then. Sometimes, when there's a major sports event I might actually be in front of the TV, but even sports is offered with greater sophistication online than via the TV these days.

I guess for me it comes down to proactive living and "control". I can control the web, my phone, the DVD player... TV is just so reactive. Given today's time pressures - yes, I've grown up - my schedule and goals are just not in support of leisure left to coincidence.

Who knows, maybe the rise of interactive TV or the merging of web and TV will bring "the big screen" back into my life to some extent. It'll be interesting to see. What about you..? Do you watch TV?

p.s. Here's an interesting presentation by Peter Hirshberg on the subject of TV and web that I found just now.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I feel compelled to pay a public compliment to our insurance company "if" (excellent name, BTW, don't you think?).

In every one of the three critical business areas, so far they've always exceeded my expectations:
  • STRATEGIC POSITION (easy to use web solutions, availability, price, products etc)
  • PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP (they know who I am and always offer excellent service)
  • PEOPLE SKILLS (I get answers to questions from professional people)
Not bad. Not bad at all!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Always dispute deadlines!

To find more quality in life I have two specific suggestions to what can be done:

(1) Learn to say no to the good
You may have received this advice many times before, but it certainly is worth repeating.

A major source of happiness is giving. Giving is a matter of focus, because it allows you to deliver your very best. Thus, to obtain that focus, there is little need to learn to say no to bad stuff. Most of us handle that pretty well. Far more important is the ability to say no to the good. Today's toughest challenge is deciding what is most important and then stick to it. All the good around us, and there's plenty of it, is the biggest enemy to pursuing that focus. Learn to say no to the good. That's where you'll find the time to spend strength on the most important.

(2) Always dispute deadlines
Making and keeping commitments can really hurt. If you want to be free of other people's agenda in your life, one of the habits that comes in handy is to always dispute deadlines. You'll find that 90% of all deadlines are fictitious, i.e. they're only there because someone feels you should be doing something for them. Next time someone gives you a deadline, make sure to ask: "What is the reason for this deadline?" Once you get the reason (and they don't really want to give it to you) then state: "This does not fit my schedule very well. Can we discuss an alternative deadline or even not decide on one?"

p.s. Deadlines can cause an unnecessary sense of urgency. Of course deadlines are good, but if you're governed by urgencies, this might be a way to get your life back on track. My two cents ;-)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Inspire worldwide prosperity

I so much enjoy the passion of people like Hans Rosling.

He's in the pursuit of helping inspire worldwide prosperity.

Rosling's research and presentations on how to understand and fight poverty (and all that's related to it) really inspires me, like the widow's mite, to contribute my part to society. Feel free to share with friends. The word needs to get out ;-)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Torbjørn Røe Isaksen & Terje Lien Aasland

Tomorrow evening I'm hosting two excellent politicians in Norway for an out of the ordinary debate at IKT Grenland ARENA. They are Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (H) and Terje Lien Aasland (AP).

They've been given a challenging task: To value create - together - improved external conditions for the IT sector in Telemark. Did I lose you? ;-)

Let me rephrase: In stead of fighting to please the audience the audience will take notes and give points to every good idea that comes up. On the other hand, they will also take notes every time unneeded rhetorics are being applied and give feedback about this. No winner will be announced. Simply a public compliment to both for what they have given us and promise to deliver in the near future.

At this stage, questions from participants are already trickling in to the website.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Top family reunion

We just had a family reunion. 32 happy people in our home all at once. What a great feeling it is to spend time together.

As you can see from the picture below, mum and dad are sitting in the middle. I still wonder what it must feel like to be in their shoes, having grown to become so many ;-)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Climbing Galdhøpiggen (2.469 m)

Together with eight other good friends Eivind and I climbed Galdhøpiggen last week. What a wonderful experience it was!

Eivind and Vidar with the mountain top in sight.

Eivind and Vidar on top of Galdhøpiggen.

What an amazing view from Galdhøpiggen!

Team effort to Galdhøpiggen.

Norway's highest mountain. Reaching for the sky ;-)

Caving in Jotunheimen. Deep down in cave # 7.