Crisis and Clarity

PUBLISHED ON  October 19, 2013

WRITTEN BY  Roni Zeiger

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  • Roni ZeigerWith a more reliable link this time: ,
  • Roni ZeigerHi folks, we're looking for a new teammate at Facebook, to be Director of Health Partnerships, Social Good. Warning, you might have to work closely with me :) ,
  • Roni ZeigerRT : 7yo: you know what I love? Me: what? 7yo: that every pencil has an eraser attached. It’s like the world expects everyone to make mistakes. That’s pretty cool. ,
  • Roni ZeigerRT : Took care of a homeless gentleman who sleeps in a park near my house. He asked to get discharged before 10am. I asked him why. “Because I volunteer to walk dogs at the animal shelter and I have to be there by then.”,

I was sitting in bed in the neurological ICU, the only conscious patient, when I decided it was time to leave an awesome job at Google to start an even more important adventure.  I recently met one of my new heroes, Terri Wingham, who needed a fresh meaningful start after surviving breast cancer, and now guides other survivors on international adventures that change the world.

It’s a story we hear again and again: a brush with mortality, a life-changing crisis, gives us clarity about what we should be doing.  Perhaps we get better access to our courage, certainly we feel urgency.  Some of the best business minds teach us that scarcity breeds clarity, and I think that applies to everything we do.

Make a date with your spouse or another loved one and talk to each other about what you might change if an unexpected crisis forced you to reconsider everything.  Maybe you can make the change now.

Are you a good noticer?

PUBLISHED ON  August 18, 2013

WRITTEN BY  Roni Zeiger

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We’re reading The Voyage of Dr. Dolittle with our son and among the countless lessons is this clinical pearl, when the Doctor’s apprentice asks the wise parrot: “Do you think I would ever be able to learn the language of the animals?” Polynesia, the parrot, answers:

“… are you a good noticer? Do you notice things well? I mean, for instance, supposing you saw two cock starlings on an apple tree, and you only took one good look at them, would you be able to tell one from the other if you saw them again on the next day?… that is what you call powers of observation — noticing the small things about birds and animals: the way they walk and move their heads and flip their wings; the way they sniff the air and twitch their whiskers and wiggle their tails … lots of the animals hardly talk at all with their tongues; they use their breath or their tails or their feet instead.”

This is the best description I’ve seen about really paying attention to your patients (and children and friends…).

Which wolf are you feeding?

PUBLISHED ON  June 11, 2013

WRITTEN BY  Roni Zeiger

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Life has been wonderfully busy, especially building a startup company, so I haven’t written recently. It seems fitting to share a a Cherokee legend that a friend just taught me about:

One day an old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “The same fight is going on inside you. It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves inside us all.

One is Evil – it is fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

“The other is Good – it is joy, peace, love, faith, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, and compassion.

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”