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One Easy Step to Enjoying a Meal with Friends
As many of you know, the French are well known for their two hour lunches. What you might not know is they are also known for their five hour dinners. In contrast, my personal research in California has shown me that most dinner parties with friends last an average of three hours (7-10pm). So what’s the difference I ask?
The difference is the intimacy that occurs in those additional 2 hours. The depth of conversation that takes place. The laughter that occurs. The satiation of eating a long slow dinner.
As Julia Child said, “It’s fun to get together and have something good to eat at least once a day. That’s what human life is all about--enjoying things.”
Three tips to making a dinner with friends memorable:
- Focus on simple and beautiful. Add a sprig of rosemary or mint on each plate for decoration or a dabble of goat cheese and dried cranberries on your salad. It doesn’t take much to make it taste good and serve as a conversation piece.
- Spread the word that it will be a long relaxing evening.
In the states there is a feeling that we must be in bed before it is late or the next day will be wasted. The day is scheduled and there is much to do (even if it is Sunday). Let your guests know that you want this to be a special evening when no one rushes and they can kick up their feet. Plan places for kids to fall asleep or watch a stack of DVDs.
- Plan some conversation starters. The key to a great evening (besides the food and wine) is the conversation, sharing, and bantering. The joy is in the debate, the philosophizing, and learning from each other. It is not a conversation just about what you are doing, but about what you are feeling, thinking, and wondering about.
- Idea: If you are concerned about what you are going to talk about all evening, have everyone send in or write a question that is on their mind. Throughout the evening choose questions out of the hat and share what everyone thinks.
Take a night and tell everyone to plan on staying until midnight. To know it is a night of conversation, of pleasure, of laughter, of good food. And then create the environment and see what happens! You will be surprised!
Make the First Hour Each Day Your Hour for Creating your Dreams
Starting your day with a great cup of coffee or tea is, of course, a must, but then what do you do once you settle into your desk at work? For most people, the answer is that they comb through their emails. They respond to what is important, click on a few items of interest and then spend another 15 minutes checking out a few blog posts, twitter discussions, and other social networking sites.
For the next month I urge you to try something different and see if it increases your productivity, creativity, visibility, and helps you to achieve some major marketing goals you have established for yourself.
Use the First Hour of Each Day to GET VISIBLE - DO SOMETHING THAT WILL HELP YOU TO ACHIEVE YOUR #1 MARKETING GOAL
Spend the first hour on making yourself visible to your customers. A few suggestions include:
- Write a blog post and then tweet about it. Make sure it is linked to Facebook, LinkedIn, and other sites.
- Research, write, or edit an article. Use the article for a free giveaway, a blog post, an ezine. After one year you will have 52 articles if you do one a week.
- Comment on a blog post, a tweet discussion, or articles. Your focus is to get your name out there as someone who has something important to add to the conversation. Comment on blogs who are authored by people you admire, can help you in some way, or are your target market.
Yes, you can do this any time of the day and yet we never seem to find the time to consistently make ourselves as visible as we would like.
Try it for a week or a month, if you can, and let me know the results as you will surprise yourself.
I recently ran across an older book by Debbie Ford entitled, The Right Questions- Ten Essential Questions to Guide You in an Extraordinary Life.
A quick but fun read that has huge impact on how you make small and large decisions in your life. As she so elegantly says, "We are where we are because of the decisions we make every day. If we want to better understand how we have created our present-day reality, all we need to do is look at the choices we made and continue to make along the way”.
Asking yourself and others the simple question such as, "Is this decision leading you towards what you want in life or away from it?" makes you stop, think and make more conscious choices.
Each day we are making thousands of small decisions that will lead us towards the lives we love living. The journey itself is fantastic if we see ourselves making these empowered choices. No matter how long it takes to achieve our goals or dreams, if we can feel empowered every day that we are on our way; we begin to realize how wonderful the journey itself is as well as achieving and living our dreams.
The Road Not Taken
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost is a poem, my 10 year old daughter has to memorize in school this week. Wow, at 10 she truly understands what it means to make choices that make a difference in her life.
In practicing it with her, I recognized how this poem is as relevant today as it was when Frost wrote it (1874-1963). Take a few minutes and read this poem and realize how we all have to choose different roads in different times in our lives and hopefully our choices have made all the difference.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
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Bon Courage – Go with Courage
Suzanne and Jean-Pierre
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