Showing all posts tagged #philosophy:


I'm no longer the Perfectionist; I now embrace my Maximizer

Posted on September 15th, 2019

One of my through line struggles has been with perfectionism. It certainly was a frustration through school. I couldn’t understand my best friend who could just rip through homework and turn in something that was barely 80% effort. Instead I wouldn’t turn something in because it wasn’t worthy of what I knew it should be. I’ve come a long way since then. I now can present something if it’s the best I believe it can be with the recourses justifiably allocated. I can reconcile that. It has actually become a core value for me. A Maximizer shall get greatest value out of resources…. I still want for perfection, but I also find beauty in excellent. I can coach that now. I’ve come a long way.

I just read a Forbes article written by Victor Lipman that included five tips for taming perfectionism. I thought I’d share.

These five tips may not be perfect, but then again, what is? Guess that’s part of the story here…
Pursue excellence, not perfection – There’s a vast difference if you’re able to frame the endeavor this way. Excellence is attainable, perfection isn’t. Excellence is an admirable goal, perfection a potentially destructive one. As the definition in Psychology Today notes, perfectionists view life "as an endless report card on accomplishments."
Try seeing yourself through the eyes of others – The irony is that the accomplishments of many perfectionists, from the uniquely talented Ms. Kearney to many C-Suiters, are exceptional by any objective standards. Easier said than done I know, but if you can find the perspective to view yourself as others do, it will be a constructive lens to look through.
Step back and take (well-deserved) pride in what you’ve accomplished – And where exactly do you want that lens to focus? Instead of dwelling on outcomes and projects that haven’t gone perfectly, step back and spend some time reflecting on past accomplishments you’re genuinely pleased with. No doubt if you’re a CEO, there have been more than a few to bring you to this point in your career. Compared to what most of us mere mortals have, a bronze medal at the Olympics, let’s say, seems a pretty pleasant outcome. (Wouldn’t mind having one myself – would look quite nice on the wall in my study.)
If you feel perfectionism has become seriously debilitating, you may want to consider counseling or therapy – BTW, I completely understand if your reaction to this suggestion is, Hey, I’m a high-functioning hard-edged executive and I have neither time nor inclination for this sort of thing. Fair enough, totally get it. But just in case you’re interested in this level of introspection to better understand the roots of the behavior and find additional ways to address it, I’ve included a link to Psychology Today’s database of therapists. (Full disclosure: I also write for Psychology Today, which is why I’m familiar with their offerings.)
Laugh - Cliche though it is, laughter is good medicine, a natural mood changer. Find time if you can to not take yourself too seriously and remember to laugh. We’re all on the same ski slope so to speak, all just passing through the great bumpy freestyle mogul of life, and if you can find a little more time to see the humor and "enjoy the ride" – well, that’s only a positive thing.
"Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good." It’s derived from a similar phrase in the writing of Voltaire and it’s a sentiment I always felt had real relevance when I was in the business world… about the need to keep the wheels of commerce turning rather than being concerned with getting everything absolutely right.

Ideation Fibonacci

Posted on September 6th, 2019

"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen."
—John Steinbeck

Care well for initial musings; the flow of ideation will pour out as fruitful bounty.

Leadership and Design Principles

Posted on August 1st, 2019

Create excellent systems and ideal processes to best support a brilliant team.
Intentionally develop what is usable and useful by focusing on the end experience.
Imagine the experiencer’s situational hopes and needs; then dream further about how to care for what they don’t even yet realize would be better.
Empathize with the misfits of society; never settle in curating only for those in the middle of the bell curve.
Design for humanity.
Strive for justice and peace.
Love everyone along the journey.
Consider every perspective.
Pursue sustainable excellence.
Refine continually.
Enhance the good; discard the clumsy; innovate the untapped potential.
Illuminate the future; building toward virtuous legacy and health for all.
Pioneer possibilities.
Optimistically always forge ahead.
Be ambassadors of hope and beauty.
Value effective as well as efficient.
Multiply intuition and knowledge.
Relentlessly pursue the greatest intersection of stewardship and creativity.
Coach and reveal beauty to enhance story and experience.
Maximize ideation and strategy.

thoughts from Gandhi about the Beatitudes

Posted on February 20th, 2019

We’re thinking about next calendar year and what series topics we might schedule. One of our thoughts is the Sermon on the Mount. I really like the idea. I have had this card at my desk for years. It’s a great reminder of what is worth upholding


Gratitude Soaked and Spirit Filled

Posted on January 10th, 2019

Gratitude soaked, Spirit filled life
Arrange my my life with such perspective. Contentment and joy.
That is eternal life.

living with greater intentionality

Posted on December 13th, 2018

A friend shared this article and I really love it. As we all look ahead to 2019, we should commit to living these thoughts with greater intentionality.


Genius in Teamwork

Posted on November 5th, 2018

Be openhanded. Practice awareness and humility and know the one who knows. Such teamwork is where magical breakthrough and creativity occurs - at the nexus of conventionality and novelty.

My friend Michael shared this article. I find it both fascinating and encouraging.


Quote about care and passion in visual design

Posted on August 14th, 2018

I was talking with my new friend John this afternoon. He is Director of Facilities and we will not only be working closely with our job responsibilities having a symbiotic nature; but we have already learned share a kindred spirit for philosophy and appreciation of design. He shared this quote that one of his professors uttered on the first day of class when he was in school about how intentional and immersed she wanted students to put their care and passion into visual design!

"When you spit on the sidewalk I want you to worry about what kind of pattern it makes."
-Leslie Wiseman (via John Nowacki @ 1969 University of Detroit Architecture School)


The best idea should always win

Posted on June 5th, 2018

Let’s try to figure out our answer on the front side, but let’s never be closed to a better decision while we still have time.

Processing - the second act of a photograph's journey from idea to art

Posted on June 1st, 2018

I always want to get as much of the shot right when I frame my shot and make my exposure. However, the more I study my heroes in photography, I realize that processing is a vital second act that prepare the art for printing and/or publishing. My goal when processing is to complete and complement the composition. I will check to make sure the image is perfectly level; and sometimes I will reframe the shot to be square or wide depending on format I wish to print or publish. Then especially when dealing with RAW format (which is quite flat and boring without at least the internal camera JPEG processor) I consider what I remember the scene as I shot it and make adjustments to help the image look like what inspired me to open the shutter in the first place. I do not like to "photoshop" things that were or were not in the original frame (though sometimes, I will remove a blemish caused by such things as dust on my sensor or lens that causes a blemish in an otherwise beautiful sky) rather usually my processing is relatively subtle with only minor tweaks to highlights, shadow, and exposure adjustments; sometimes some play with vibrancy and saturation; and perhaps finishing with some contrast I want to draw the viewer into the image, to help make them feel what I felt when I was experiencing the scene live.


Eric Wolfe

Visual Artist and Leader. Production Designer and Consultant. Developer of Ideas. Maximizer of Resources. Strategic Thinker. Creative Innovator. Husband. Father. Philosopher. Photographer. Backpacker. Athlete. Cook. Artisan. He shares thoughts here about all of the above. He would love to connect to partner in coaching and revealing beauty to enhance story and experience. Please do reach out!