Inspiration 276: The Thermostat Cover: Problem Solving Gone Bad

In a recent hotel room, this make shift box greeted me one evening. I think it was someone’s great idea for hiding the thermostat and pointing guests to the register under the window. The room was clean (I think) and I was safe, but other than that…well, you can make your own assumptions based on this photo. And no, I do not plan to stay in this hotel again. 

So where along the way to problem solving did this become the best solution? Was there one of these boxes in every room? And if so, who installed them in over 200 rooms and never thought to question this as the best solution? Were they afraid or did they just not care enough to speak up? Or was it some combination of both? 

Do you give people the opportunity to speak freely, or do you create an environment where people only do what you say without thinking? How do you admit your own mistakes? Do you let people know when you need help, when you don’t know the right answer, or are you too proud to show what might be construed as a weakness? I once had a boss tell me they thought people who apologize were weak. I told them I disagreed. I told them I see someone who apologizes as secure enough in themselves to admit a mistake and own up to it. It takes a big person to admit when they are wrong. 

So today your challenge is to admit when you are wrong…don’t be like this tacky thermostat cover and get installed without ever being able to see that ANYTHING is better than this idea. 

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Inspiration 275: Pieces of Eight…Who Knew?


We recently visited Valley Forge and saw the amazing exhibits in the Visitor’s Center.  I took this photo of a silver coin broken into exactly eight pieces…you’ve heard the phrase “pieces of eight”…well here they are. During this war when a soldier had to purchase something, there were no smaller coin denominations – no nickles, dimes, quartes – so the soldier broke a coin into eight exact pieces and gave the merchant a piece of eight as the exact denomination. Pretty clever! It became the agreed upon method for purchases of all types. 

What have you done lately that has been innovative? What have you done that has become a method by which the lives of others are made better? Maybe today you can take that idea you have for a new process, method, tool or theme and present it to the world! Who’s not to say that your idea may be the one that makes all the difference for someone else? Don’t hold back, give it all you’ve got…have the courage to break the standard into smaller pieces – maybe eight – and establish a new standard of measure…you might end up with a broken coin, or you may change the way the country looks at money. We won’t know which until you try!

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Inspiration 274: Redneck Lasagna

Bigun’s is known throughout Georgia as one of the best barbeque joints in the state. Here you can see three bottles of their special sauce…and the “sure-nuff” hot is indeed HOT! It can clear any set of sinuses in the first serving. My husband is a self-proclaimed “foodie” and he savored the Redneck Lasagna…yes, that is correct…redneck lasagna. It includes a combination of bbq pork, brunswick stew, and the southern favorite macaroni and cheese. To quote my hubby, “It was frickin’ AWESOME!” Worth ANY trip to North Georgia to savor this dish. 

Why bring this up in a blog about inspiration? As my mate was eating it – making yummy sounds and generally telling us bite by bite how much he was enjoying his portion of redneck lasagna – it made me think. What do people say when they are done interacting with me? Is it praise, it is criticism? Or is it  something  in between? It made me think about the concept of personal brand…when people see me, what comes to mind? What words would they use to describe my skills, talents, personality, and the way I treat people? 

What comes to mind when people hear your name? Are the words they use to describe you the ones you would want them to use? Only you can control your brand. You shape that “brand” with every interaction, every word, every idea, every piece of work you create. You stand for something, so what is it? And do you have the courage to find out? I hope you have people around you that will tell you the truth and not just validate your own opinion of yourself and your work. I encourage you today to find those who will tell you about your personal brand in a caring and honest fashion. I dare you to be the redneck lasagna of your world – some combination of awesome and yummy…smothered in special sauce!

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