The Art of Being Human

Say yes.Bend the rules.Show up on
Although this blog post from my hero Seth Godin is aimed at small businesses, one cannot escape the universal truths. From his “Yes!, please and thank you,” just substitute “customer” for “person” and you’ll get the gist.
“Don’t jerk people around” writes Godin. I can’t imagine any situation in which the following suggestions would not be appropriate.

  • Say yes.
  • Bend the rules.
  • Show up on time.
  • Keep your promises.
  • Don’t exert power merely because you can.
  • Be human, be kind, pay attention, smile.

Not everyone deserves this sort of treatment, not everyone will do their part to be the kind of customer you can delight and serve. But that’s okay, you don’t need everyone.

Super Bowl XILX Brand Watch

I’m in the middle of teaching my Digital Media class how to evaluate digital strategy. To look at the “Why” and the “How” with a critical eye and evaluate whether the digital team is following the overall strategic objectives of the brand. What better way than to kick it off with the Super Bowl (I’m so punny)? The assignment? Pick five brands to follow. Determine their “Why” and their “Ask,” then blog about it. Why is the Super Bowl important? On average, $4.5 million to buy a spot and only 17 minutes of the 3.5 hours of the game are devoted to live football.

pie-chart

I assembled all my prep info Sunday morning and we’re hanging at BJ’s watching the game. It’s funny to hear the crowd’s responses to the ads. Definitely Kim K’s T-Mobile is getting bad reviews and the heart-string pulling Budweiser puppy and “pay with love” from McDonald’s get the popular vote. Here’s my review.

Coca-Cola

Why: #MakeItHappy for the Big Game.
Ask: Respond to negative tweets with #MakeItHappy.
Klout score: 92
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Analysis: They teamed up with Kid President/Soul Pancake, Danica Patrick and others in what appears to be a campaign against cyberbullying. They began teasing it on Jan. 26, 2015, on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. On Twitter, they haven’t put out content since Nov., but they are actively engaging fans. They are putting out more content on Facebook . Their website promotes the campaign and shows FB, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr accounts. They have an unlisted instagram and it’s in sync with the promo. But ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Why aren’t they on Pinterest? Do you know how many things are made with coke? This might be theirs … https://www.pinterest.com/cocacola/.

They’ve been a touch-feely brand since the ’70s ala “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,” so it’s in line with their Why. But seriously? Get your digital act together.

Mophie
Why: When your phone dies, who knows what can happen. mophie. #StayPowerful.
Ask: Visit http://www.mophie.com to find out how.
Klout score: 81

Analysis:No information about the campaign on their website. Assets listed: pinterest, fb, twitter, insta, g+, youtube. They used the new “pin” option on Twitter to make the video the first in their feed and they pinned the video on their pinterest board with the hashtag. What’s more, they are actively putting out content and engaging on all published platforms.
mophie Good surroundsound: a little over the top, but right in line with their brand

P&G (Always)
Why: A girl’s confidence plummets during puberty but it doesn’t have to.
Ask: Everyone should #runlikeagirl
Klout score: 64
Analysis: This is not a new campaign, but they did a good job of hyping it. I think insta and pinterest could be valuable and they might consider snapchat. They’ve obviously got the full support of the powerhouse that is P&G, but frankly, I don’t know what this has to do with visits from Aunt Flow. Good use of owned assets: They had the full release in their news section. http://news.pg.com/press-release/pg-corporate-announcements/always-uses-super-bowl-stage-redefine-meaning-girl

T-Mobile
Why: They are the unMobile company. Other phone companies steal your data and you suffer.
Ask: Free #KimsDataStash | T-Mobile Commercial
Klout Score: 80

Let me be on record, I’m not a fan the Kardashians. Our fascination with them baffles me. But, I chose to follow this brand because … the internets.

Analysis: There was absolutely no mention of the campaign on their website. Their social platform messaging was very confusing. They were having contests, but I couldn’t figure out how to participate. Kim Kardashian seemed to be sharing her ridiculous selfies with Twitter users, but I couldn’t figure out how to join the fun. Lots of noise and clutter, but they got their point across. They want you to switch to T-Mobile, but I’m not sure what makes them the “unmobile.” Honestly, they have so many taglines and brand propositions, I don’t know who they are.

Unmetric
Why: The only Social Media Intelligence Platform Focused on Brands.
Ask: Check out their new Event Pulse Platform | 17,306 brands, 28 hashtags
Klout score: 60
http://www.slideshare.net/unmetric/slideshelf

Analysis: All B2B digital companies offer “news you can use” and Unmetric is no exception, they even offer last minute content tips on their Facebook page. They are the typical B2B company: Blog, Pinterest, LinkedIn and FB.

unmetric

The Silence is Deafening

Books of Inspiration
Sometimes the universe has a message for me…I just have to be still enough to hear. I’m in the midst of a BIG life change as I transition to my new role as a professor at the College of Media & Communication. The last few months have been a blur of activity, but I have kept good on my commitment to journal as a tool to reflect on the day before and focus on the day ahead. Well…mostly. IT’S BEEN REALLY BUSY!

I like to mix things up, so I dug out an unlikely selection of books to dip into for a daily dose of reflection or inspiration. From the Bible to “Putting First Things First” … from to Islam to Tao, my 2015 collection has it covered.

For the second day in a row, the messages are pretty clear:

  • Slow down and be at peace with the quiet in your life.
  • More is not better.
  • Slow and steady wins the race, making little changes add up over time.

What message does the universe have for you? SHHHHHH. You have to be still and listen.

Read my TUMBLR post from yesterday.

Today’s inspiration from DailyOm
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With all our best intentions and rich resources, why is it so hard to slow down, simplify, and care for ourselves? Why do most clearing efforts fall short or peter out?

Why are we so afraid to let go?

Our drive to attain and succeed comes at a great cost to the soul. We are malnourished, if not starved, when it comes to compassionate self-acceptance, awareness, and care. We yearn for simplicity but struggle to find it. We ache for balance but can’t sustain it. There is no time to juggle it all, let alone clear the things and thoughts that have caused us to feel so overwhelmed in the first place.

Most traditional approaches do not make room for us to feel the feelings that come up when we clear, and they make us feel bad when we fall short. These linear modalities do not account for our fight or flight response, nor recognize the energetic impact that our thoughts and emotions can have on our living spaces.

After years of study, deep inquiry, and personal experience, here’s what I know for sure:

For clearing to last you need to put yourself first. You won’t make a dent in reducing the stress and stuff until you’ve healed the patterns that created it. If you don’t feel safe, you won’t let go. Clearing is an inside job that begins and ends with you.

For clearing to last you need to change your mindset. Clearing is not something you “do” or squeeze into your life. It’s a way of life – a journey – that doesn’t always add up, make sense, or go in a straight line. Clearing is not about “getting rid of.” It’s about letting go of the things and thoughts that get in the way of realizing your true nature and best life.

For clearing to last you need to slow down. Clearing old habits and resisting behaviors is not possible until you slow it …way …down. In a world that is all about speed, this requires awareness. Daily doses of it. “Slow drip” efforts applied consistently over time are the real game changer here.

Running on Thin Ice

Someone asked for advice on layering in the West Texas Running Club Facebook group I joined … it took me a while to assemble the right cold weather gear (through trial and error) so I thought I’d share. The snow and ice we’ve had in West Texas has put these items to the test!

So here it is, head to toe comfort for short distance, cold weather runs.

Smartwool Socks

Depending on conditions, I wear ski length (they have extra padding to keep your shins warm) or running socks. I’m really sensitive to wool, but the new smartwool blends are very comfy and make all the difference. No more layering socks and buying a larger-sized shoe! I wear these strictly for running to make them last longer.

wigwam-socks

Wigwam Women’s Snow Sirocco Midweight Wool Ski Sock ($15 on Amazon)

smartwool green w phd run light micro

Smartwool Women’s PHD Run Light Micro in Green ($16.95 at The Outdoorsman in Lubbock)

Saucony Cohesion Running Shoes

(Under $40 at Academy Sports)

Nope, they aren’t the most high performance or expensive, but these shoes fit my high arches like a dream. Roomy toe box and plenty of cushion.

saucony

Classic Supplex Body Fit Ankle Legging

($42 at Danskin.com)

These leggings are a dream. They are a little pricey, but the fit is perfect, they hit at the waist, so no drooping during a run. They have just the right amount of spandex and they come in x-small! I double up when it’s cold. I live in them during the cooler months – yoga, golf, work, you name it. They wash beautifully and look great with a sweater and boots. Long lasting is an understatement … my first pair still looks great circa 1993!)

Danskin Leggings

Long, Fitted Tee or Tank

As a first layer, I like a longer, snug tee or tank … I prefer natural fibers and a little stretch, but whatever works for you! I’m obsessed with Lululemon’s Cool Racerback Tank. It comes in a ton of colors and is nice and LONG. Some colors are reversible. I layer these under everything. $42 at lululemon.com.

lululemon-racerback

The North Face Women’s Glacier ¼ Zip

($60 at The Outdoorsman in Lubbock)

To say I’m obsessed with these is just crazy talk. (I have eight in various colors.) They are soft and warm and very breathable. I wear two when it’s below freezing.

the-north-face-glacier-1-4-zip-fleece-womens-ballet-pink-15

Neck Gaiter

Mine is from a ski shop in Winter Park, it’s older than my teenage son. Pick one that’s soft, snug and long enough to pull over your mouth if it’s windy.

Knitted Toboggan w/ Ear Flaps And Braids

Complete with a pompon on the top of course! Lined with 40 gram thinsulate. I snagged mine in Santa Fe last year at Cottom’s. Best recommendation on ski rental EVAH! Thanks, Fit is Chic … follow her for fabulous fitness, beauty and lifestyle tips.)

Ski Gloves

My hands are really sensitive to cold, so I just use my ski gloves. I like the 40 gram thinsulate, it’s breathable but warm. Read more about the different thinsulate weights here.

Columbia Gold 650 TurboDown™ Radial Down Vest

Unless it’s really windy, I prefer a vest to keep my core warm without overheating. This one is super light, very warm. It has a special reflective layer that really does radiate body heat.

vest

Don’t forget skin care!

Freezing temps are hard on your face, I put a good moisturizer on and some Burt’s Bees to prevent chapped lips.

Burts-bees

Leash up the Labradors and we are out the door!

labradors

Happy running! What are your cold weather faves?

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

Happy New Year!

As I open my journal (a left-over composition book rescued from my ex-husband’s hoard) so much has happened, but so much has remained the same. A good thing. My entries tend to be short … moments of joy and worry, hope and frustration, pride and disappointment … affirmations, reflections of books I read, food I enjoyed and places I traveled; rants about my parenting failures…little pieces of me.

When I’m gone, will my kids want to read their mother’s random scribblings? Her lists of intentions? Her prayers for them and for strangers? Her self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy? Her GOLF SCORES? Probably not, but I read them. And laugh out loud or roll my eyes, but in that process, journaling helps me get to know my true self. A daily retreat from the craziness of life in the 21st Century to help me reflect and focus at leading a deliberate life. Little self-corrections so I don’t stray too far from my chosen path.

My path took me to some awesome places this year:

  • Made good on my goal to travel more: San Jose, St. Louis (and a joyous trip down memory lane in Southern Illinois), Durango, Santa Fe, OKC and Stillwater
  • Always a foodie: Cooked and ate some delightful meals. Tortured my office mates with baked goods all year.
  • Still a wino: Drank some amazing wine and champagne, most notably with my Cali cousin at Vintage Wine Merchants in Santana Row.
  • Read some great books: Texas by James Michener, Dr. Sleep by Stephen King. Joined a cool book club and read Plato and Aristotle for the first time in my life (not a fan) but met some pretty amazing new friends!
  • Adventures in parenting: Had some amazing times with my son: Saw Sir Paul McCartney, best concert EVER! Checked out some local museums (Silent Wings and Buddy Holly), explored the public library, took the dogs to Buffalo Springs Lake for a swim, and played a lot of golf. Playing Cards Against Humanity may have been the highlight. Inappropriate? Yes? Laughing until you cry? Worth it.
  • Staying active: Ran and walked more than 600 miles with the labs … we run every day, rain or shine, wind or snow. Tried Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Santa Cruz and Ziplining in Durango!
  • Giving back: volunteering is important to this family, we worked at the Food Bank and I delivered lots Meals on Wheels and walked some dogs at Morris Safe House.
  • Working with the TTAA crew was fantastic as always, we did some amazing work in 2014. I’m off to my new adventure as a professor in 2015, but a part of my heart will always be at the Mc-Merket.

Goodbye 2014, you’ve been a great year! Hello 2015! Hoping my path includes a nice long visit with my “baby” girl and her family this year. I’ve missed them.

See all of my adventures on instagram!

Fondue. What heaven tastes like. #cheese #wine #garlic #yum

A photo posted by Lisa DuBois Low (@ldlow) on

Take Out the Mental Garbage

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How often do we react to the world around us in ways we aren’t even aware of? Only when we bring awareness and live in the moment can we hope to be at peace.

Journaling is a great way to process our thoughts and feelings. Sift through the “keepers” and kick the garbage to the curb.

Namaste!

From my morning meditation:

Until you begin to notice and use your awareness, you are slave to your thought processes. As you begin to regulate the flow of your awareness of your body and relate it to the people and events in the world, your emotional habits will become more obvious.

Get the whole article from DailyOm:

Can I Get a Do-over?

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Everywhere, every day, someone just wants a “do-over.” Bad day? Burned dinner? Lost keys? Fight with my teenager? Sometimes the minutia just makes me want to crawl in bed and try again tomorrow.

In my personal journey to be more present in the moment AND to build the life I want, I’m soooo impatient and distracted. Distractions that usually come from focusing too much on what’s going WRONG instead of what’s going RIGHT. In her article Starting New, A Moment of Choice, Madisyn Taylor wrote “giving all of our attention to the unwanted aspects of our lives allows what we resist to persist.”

Every moment in life, we can choose a different attitude or a different path. We don’t have to wait to start exercising, eating right or saving money. Not happy with the last choice you made?

YES you can get a do-over. Anytime. We can’t change the past, but we control how we react in the future. Choose differently right now.

Another excerpt (read the whole article here)

“Starting new is most powerful when we focus our attention to what we are choosing to create. We need to remember to leave enough room in the process of new beginnings to be kind to ourselves, because it takes time to become accustomed to anything new, no matter how much we like it. There is no need to get down on ourselves if we don’t reach our new goals instantly. Instead, we acknowledge the forward motion and choose to reset and start again, knowing that with each choice we learn, grow, and move forward.”