Thursday, December 27, 2012

We All Need Each Other

Thanks to our creative capacity and our ability to reason and innovate, the human organism possesses a great deal of adaptive flexibility. This is what allows it to survive in many different conditions. But it is also rigidly programed for certain environmental requirements. Just as our bodies require physical nutrients the human brain demands positive forms of environmental stimulus at all stages.

We must ask the question: Is the condition we have created in the modern world actually supporting our mental health? Is the bedrock of our socioeconomic system acting as a positive force for human and social development and progress? Or is our society actually going against the core evolutionary requirements needed to create and maintain our personal and social well-being?

In Creative Courage we discuss our tendency to amend problems instead of looking at the core of why there is a problem and why we need a solution. I think the need for a solution to our epidemic of violence in the world is clear. I believe we need to consider looking at the beginning of the chain reaction that ends in a member of our society feeling they must take up arms against children. The solution is bigger than what has been discussed. Gun control is not the answer and more guns isn't the answer either. There has to be a fundamental shift where we all realize we are not on our own and that we ALL NEED EACH OTHER and must work to protect each other as we progress in life. I don't have an easy answer. I don't think there is one. But I know that if the majority of us begin to work together, we will find a solution that will begin to make that shift.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

My Creative Courage Workshop is Available.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Editorial cartoon

We need more holistic thinking in regard to cause and effect. Our short sighted mindset always seems to bites us in ass at every level of our egsistance. The cycle needs to be broken.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Malala Yousafzai Courage

I have a 9 year old daughter with access to an education. I want her to know who Malala Yousafzai is. She is the sister of all children and daughter to all mankind. The attack on her is symbolic of our failure. She reminds us that it takes courage to be free.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Creative maturity: managing your ego

Much of our lives are spent analyzing things like the environment, politics, society, economics, art, parenting, crime, war, religion, etc. The list could go on forever. But one vital thing we tend to forget to do is to acknowledge our own ego amidst our day-to-day lives. It is our ego that motivates most of our decisions and drives us into any given direction.
Working in business, we are inundated with problems daily, whether it be operational issues, human resource challenges, customer concerns and more. To succeed in business, one must be a problem solver. However, one of the main obstacles in developing your own ability to be that problem solver is oftentimes our inability to set our own perspective and needs aside. That’s because, more often than not, many professionals have the need to be perceived as a problem solver, but that desire overrides actually being a problem solver.
There are solutions.
We must always understand that the choices we make require analytical thinking with emotional tempering. Not the other way around. Ego is a good motivator but a terrible problem solver. Simply put, learning to manage your own ego is what separates the professionals from the wannabes. Creative confidence is shown not by those professionals who say they have the best ideas, but by those who showcase their ability to be flexible, responsive and nurturing of any good idea regardless of its origin or where that idea is headed at any given moment.
It takes a talented professional to set their ego aside and immediately listen to, discuss, address and solve problems on the spot, all the while knowing they may not have all of the right answers just then. Addressing challenges or opportunities in this manner can be difficult for some to do, impossible for others. But, as I mentioned, this ability separates the pros from the amateurs.
Compromise requires sacrifice. Sacrifice requires humility. Humility requires confidence. Confidence comes from creative maturity.
Creative maturity may seem like a contradiction in terms, but it is an absolute must when the goal is to produce the best solution possible for any situation. The dichotomy of exploring your options and ideas with a free and open mind while limiting your ego analytically isn’t always easy, but it is possible.
For those looking to further their own development in this area, the first step is to set aside the egotistical need to be “right” and instead learn how to trust others – and yourself. This means allowing yourself to be open to impromptu discussions, to step outside of your area of expertise and provide your thoughts (they do matter), to feel confident in the fact that you do have something to contribute and that your opinion is valuable. I encourage you to put yourself and your ideas on the line, especially during those instances where there is no time to prepare. You’ll be surprised at what you’re already capable of doing. For the no-holds-bar always idea making, problem solving machines of the world, who typically already have a highly developed sense of troubleshooting needs, I say it’s okay to take a backseat at times when you’re around others who are new to this creative maturation process. Allow them to venture out, learn and come to trust more in their own abilities and the concept that there is always more than one solution to any given problem. In doing so, it will help build their confidence.
Managing your ego is difficult to do and, as a business owner myself, it’s absolutely critical that everyone on my team is able to creatively mature. Without a proper balance of overall maturation, business doesn’t work. The environment naturally segments itself into “control freaks” (who become resentful and frustrated) and “wannabes” (who begin to create their own self-imposed walls the hinder their own progress and growth).
An efficient and effective way to reach the best solution in the shortest amount of time is to commit to muting our emotional needs to be right and realize that this sacrifice is required for the best solution. One does not feed the other.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sunset moment.

When  Debi and I first started dating we'd love to watch the sunset. Those moments became symbolic in our lives. Whenever something great happened we'd call it a "sunset moment." We've been married 16 years now and we spend every anniversary in the same place. Crystal Pier Hotel in San Diego. 9 years ago my daughter Elli began joining us on these annual getaways. This year I was at the beach with her again, playing in the waves and building sandcastles. I paused and noticed the amazing sunset and mentioned it to her. She looked up and smiled at me as if to say "Got it, it's the sun. Thanks Dad." I tried to explain how amazing it looked and how beautiful the light reflecting off the wet sand was but it was pointless. She was dragging a piece of sea weed across the sand and drawing Homer Simpson with it. She didn't have time for my sentimental notions. But it came to me the next day that the sunset moment was mine. It wasn't her moment to notice. She in fact was my sunset moment. I may as well have been asking the ocean to take notice of the stars. She at that moment was a big reason I was taking it all in. In time she will develop her own sunset moments. I am lucky to have Debi and Elli with me during my time on the planet. I'm glad I let those sunsets sneak in and remind me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Okay, here's a thought.

Okay, here's a thought. Regardless of the outcome of our presidential election it's time for this nation to become great again in spite of its government. The greatness of this nation never came from its government, it came from its people. Government is not a source of wisdom. It's a system of control. People think the only thing they need to do to deserve the privilege of being an American citizen is vote. It's not. You need to CONTRIBUTE! Work hard, educate your kids, support your community, give to charity, build something! If you become a success it's not because of who you elected. It's because you worked your ass off. Or because someone successful gave you a leg up in some way and then you worked your ass off. Pay your taxes. Put your money in American banks. Hire American!!! It's up to you to give back and lead by example. Don't be so dependent on party. Obama and Romney can not save us. YOU save you and WE save us. So everyone lighten up. Be good to each other and don't forget to vote.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Our public libraries are a symbol of American civility

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Public libraries were born from the ideals expressed in our Declaration of Independence. Simply put, a public library exists to serve the public’s interest. It gives anyone with a willingness to learn the chance to do so. It is a symbol of American civility, the boot strap that facilitates literacy and enables intellectual growth and progression within a community. It is the most prolific source of nutrients for a hungry and curious mind. A person of any age, race, culture or creed can wander freely into a public library and find inspiration to satisfy his or her curiosity and better their standing in life. The public library is a uniquely American invention molded from American values and philosophies. 

Since its inception in 1833, the American public library’s prime directive has been to provide communities with easy access to educational materials and resources. As Americans, we understand that those on the front lines sustaining our democracy and protecting our innovation as a civilized society are well informed. In recent news a 14-year-old Pakistani girl was shot because she wanted access to knowledge. Our forefathers understood that offering free access to knowledge was satisfying deep moral and intellectual needs required in a civilized society. 

Our dependence on government has been a point of contention in the last decade, and somehow libraries have been lumped into that argument. Somehow some of us have forgotten that public libraries are not a problem of government dependence, they are the solution. So say no to inefficiency. Say no to corruption. Say no to waste. But say yes to a public resource that gives back more abundantly than we give to it. Say yes to a public resource that has done nothing but say yes to the citizens of this city since it opened its doors. It is now our chance as Americans to stand up and be counted. Please vote yes on November 6th on Henderson Libraries Question 1.

For more information about the Henderson Library Question 1 tax initiative visit the website here

Or visit the facebook page at

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A bird's eye view

A bird flies over a forest and identifies a safe place to begin nesting. Once it's found its location, the bird gathers twigs and leaves and starts weaving a nest that becomes a resting place for its eggs. But that's just the beginning of the process. With a bit of nurturing and love, within a few weeks, eggs hatch and you have new birds that will one day do the same. Are you seeing the metaphor yet?

If you are working on a problem or trying to come up with a campaign, start from way up high. Look at the issue from a bird's eye view and zero in on your concept. Gather ideas and weave a solution. Once you have a solution in place, there is one more step to take, one that we often forget: nurture it and watch it grow on its own. The success of that solution will inspire even more ideas. It's the circle of life AND ideas.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Act accordingly

We are responsible for the world we handover to our kids. We aren't here long. It's not about us, it's about them. Act swiftly act thoughtfully and act accordingly. And make sure the kids realize that soon it will be their turn.

Monday, March 26, 2012


Shut up and work. We all get frustrated. We feel impatient. We feel discouraged. We try to shift the pieces so they make sense. The belief that the world is a puzzle for you to decode is discouraging, demotivating and just plain inaccurate. Shut up and work. All that noise feels like progress but in actuality becomes wasted energy. The bottom line is to do what you are good at. And do it a lot. Never stop. Don’t get too hung up on the results of the work because the act of working consistently with commitment yields progressively improving results. Work creates opportunities and is the birthplace of innovation. Trust that putting your energy into something will lead you to where you need to go. Shut up and work. Stop trying to second guess your progress. Stop talking yourself out of taking chances. Stop placing judgment on the validity or value of your work. Stop fighting the richness of your capacity. Shut up and work. If you’re good at what you do, you’ll get better. If you’re great at what you do it will show. Do what you are good at. And do it a lot. Never stop. Shut up and work. Nothing will fall in your lap. Keep your eyes open for opportunities and act on them. Nobody owes you any favors. It’s up to you and me to shut up and work.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

AlexRaffi's photostream


I became involved with St. Baldrick's in 2009 when I discovered a family friend had a daughter who was diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Since then I've seen the passion and commitment of all involved in raising money for this charity. Worldwide, more than 160,000 children are diagnosed with childhood cancer each year. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation coordinates worldwide head-shaving events that raise money to support childhood cancer research. This is the 4rth year that I will be having my head shaved to stand in solidarity with kids fighting cancer, but more importantly, to raise money to find cures. Please support me with a donation to the St. Baldrick's Foundation. This volunteer-driven charity funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U. S. government. Many of us are fortunate enough to have healthy children. This is an opportunity to help those who aren't so luck. Your gift will give hope to infants, children, teens and young adults fighting childhood cancers. Click here to make a donation and just for fun you can even request a photoshop image of me in some ridiculous situation. I will create it with a big thank you publicly on this page:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I was interviewed by Here it is.

View the interview on the page here..

Alex Raffi – Writer, Artist, Cartoonist, Creative Genius

Alex Raffi is the author and illustrator of The Sheep Counting Dream.  We recently caught up with him to learn more about this richly-illustrated and heart warming book.  Alex was kind enough to spend some time talking about his journey.

What inspired you to write The Sheep Counting Dream?

I enjoy creating art and have dabbled in many mediums.  I always wanted to take on the challenge of story telling and with my short attention span children’s stories seemed perfect.  I believe that’s why I enjoy writing in rhyme.  I find it more interesting to tell a story that way and the limitations provide a process of discovery.  My inspiration came from wanting to create a book  that I would have found interesting as a child.   Thankfully I had the encouragement of my wife Debi and daughter Elli. They helped fuel my passion.

What’s the message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

The world that lives within the imagination of a child is powerful. I guess that’s the point of the book for me.  It reminds me how special young minds are.  As a boy I imagined that each piece of furniture in my house was alive and had specific personality traits.  I’d say goodbye to the couch and the chair and the tables and lamps on my way out the door to go to school.  I imagined that the dining room chairs must be jealous of the couch in the living room  as it had full view of the television!

The idea of counting sheep had always intrigued me.  I had trouble doing it when I was a kid as my mind would wander.  I always wanted the sheep to turn into soaring dragons and exploding starships.  

In addition to writing you have other creative endeavors. What are your other interests?

I enjoy playing and writing music and painting.  The biggest creative endeavor of my life has to be the exploration of my own creative process.  I share these ideas in a workshop called Creative Courage.   Creativity in schools and business is often ignored.  In my view, nurturing creativity in yourself and others is one of the most important things you can do in life.  We need more innovation and passion!  

What would you like to tell our readers?

Surprise yourself!  Explore the uncomfortable every once in a while because that’s where you learn new things about yourself.  Be fearless when exploring new ideas. And never stop.  Why would you?  It’s so much fun.