Five More Minutes With Wishes You a Happy New Year!

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson on December 30, 2013

Inspiring Moment: Carmel Beach at Sunset photo

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a VERY happy, healthy, and productive New Year.

With the advent of 2014, I will be taking off some time to reevaluate and refocus the Five More Minutes With website.

During that time, please enjoy the Random Story and Inspiring Moment sections of this website.

And please check back for updates as they are available. I appreciate your interest in this website since its inception in March 2010.

Braiden Rex-Johnson,

Founder/Editor

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Inspiring Moment: Fish Remains

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson

Inspiring Moment: Fish Remains five more minutes with website

 

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Inspiring Moment: Family Photo of my Brother

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson

Inspiring Moment: Family Photo of my Brother five more minutes with website link

 

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Holiday Memory: Gullan’s Glögg

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson on December 23, 2013

Every year, as a tribute to my dear mother, Julia Looper Rex, I republish this blog post that first appeared on the Five More Minutes With website in 2011. It always makes me smile as I recount this beloved holiday memory of Mom. I hope you will enjoy it, too!

And if you are interested in making Glögg at home, here’s a video from New York City’s legendary Aquavit Restaurant. Looks pretty yummy!

A Holiday Memory of Mom

When I was a child, one of my mother’s dearest friends hailed from Sweden. Desperately homesick and longing for her country’s unique holiday traditions, each year around Thanksgiving Gullan would show up on our doorstep with a batch of homemade pepparkakar (pepper cookies) and a bottle of Glögg.

Our family soon learned that Glögg is a popular winter-time beverage in Sweden, made from an intriguing mix of what seemed to us (at least during the innocent days of the 1960s) some pretty exotic ingredients: red wine, Aquavit, Madeira, whole cardamom, cinnamon sticks, candied orange peel, raisins, and blanched almonds.

My mother, a dyed-in-the-wool teetotaler at the time, looked askance at the annual bottle of Glögg. But, in deference to her friend’s beloved homeland, she took a few tentative sips of the warm, sweet wine punch. And then a few more.

As I remember things, Mom always got a bit tipsy while my father enjoyed his cup of holiday cheer along with Mom’s merry mood.

Gullan’s husband was transferred back to Europe and Mom passed on seven years ago, but my mind often wanders back to those simpler, more innocent days and the warm, soothing drinks of winter like hot chocolate, hot toddies, and, of course, Gullan’s Glögg.

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Inspiring Moment: Family Photo of my Father

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson

Inspiring Moment: Family Photo of my Father five more minutes with website link

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Five More Minutes With Enjoys Six Heart-Warming Photos

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson on December 16, 2013

An email came into my inbox with 22 heartwarming photos from around the world and encompassing all sorts of subject matter. Here are my favorite six!

Penguin family five more minutes with website link

Girl kissing sheep five more minutes with website link

Ostrich mother, father, and babies five more minutes with website link

Old man and cat sleeping five more minutes with website link

Child and sheep in the desert five more minutes with website link

 

Boy and kitten five more minutes with website link

 

Inspiring Moment: Hotel Carpet

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson

Inspiring Moment: Hotel Carpet five more minutes with website link

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Five More Minutes With Spends Five Minutes Making Decisions, Decisions

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson on December 9, 2013

Brad Rex photo

In today’s post, our frequent guest columnist, Brad Rex, weighs in on the importance of making the correct decision.

“Decisions, Decisions” is an excerpt from his book, “The Surpassing! Life.”

Decisions, Decisions

An executive is a person who always decides; sometimes he decides correctly, but he always decides.–John H. Patterson

Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.–J.K Rowling

You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself

any direction you choose.

You’re on your own.

And you know what you know.

And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go . . .–Dr. Seuss

Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.–Napoleon I

Leaders make decisions. The quality of those decisions determines the effectiveness of the leader and the organization. Given the importance of making great decisions, how can a leader enhance the quality of his or her decisions?

Over the years, I’ve refined my decision-making process, and suggest that you may want to apply many of these same steps when you have to make important decisions.

First, determine the amount of time you have to make a decision. In the event of a casualty situation, decision-making time may be extremely short, and therefore you need to act quickly on limited information. If your house is on fire, it’s a quick and easy decision to immediately call 911. When I faced engineering drills on a nuclear submarine or led Epcot on 9/11, I had to make immediate choices. You gather as much information as fast as you can, and then rely on your experience and training to make the best decision possible.

Often, though, people are pressured into making hasty decisions by artificial deadlines. “If you don’t buy this house/car/boat today, it will be gone, and you never get as good a deal!” Salespeople and marketers attempt to create urgency, which often leads to poor decisions: “Limited time deal!” “Order in the next five minutes and get a 20% discount!” When I’ve been pressured for an “immediate answer,” I simply say “If you want an answer immediately, then the answer is No.” You then typically find out that there was no real immediacy, and you can agree on a more reasonable timeframe. Don’t be pressured into making a decision before you feel comfortable with the decision and potential outcome.

A second key factor is the importance of a decision. If a choice has minimal impact, make it quickly based on your experience—don’t agonize over it. For example, you don’t need to go through an extensive decision-making process to pick up a pack of gum at the grocery story, but you might want to complete a thorough evaluation before you purchase a large screen television.

You can also remove the need to make many smaller decisions by standardizing your routine. You won’t have to “decide” to exercise every day if you have planned for it in your daily routine.

Assuming you have time to make a decision, and the decision has significance, then you should go through a decision-making process. The process should start with correctly framing the question, ensuring that you know what you are trying to decide. This often leads to probing that uncovers a more core issue. You may think the question is “Should I buy this specific house?” when a better question might be “What is the wisest way to provide a home for my family?” Failure to ask the right question can lead to seriously flawed decisions.

Next, review the information you have and what further information may be useful. You may need to do research, read reviews, ask experts or perform analytics. While more information is generally better, you should determine if the cost and time of acquiring the information justifies its value in the decision-making process. This is an important step, as some people just ask for more data that delays decision-making and increases cost when the additional information has little value. Prioritize your information needs and spend the time and money acquiring the information that has the highest benefit.

Decide who else may be impacted by your decision, and ensure they are informed and have an opportunity to provide input. Operating in isolation risks harming your relationships and can hamper implementing the decision by creating resistance.

If this is a business decision that your leader is interested in, meet with him or her to discuss it and get their point of view. You should also meet with your team or advisors to review the question and information to seek their input and brainstorm ideas, urging “constructive conflict” and open debate. List alternatives and pros/cons. Seek consensus, primarily listening and soliciting dialogue, without necessarily expressing your point of view. If consensus is not possible, after you believe all points had been made, make the decision and explain your rationale.

Try to find a way to say “yes” to new opportunities and push yourself and your team to figure how to do something, rather than figure out the reasons not to do it.

Determine the action plan around the decision, with timetable and accountabilities. Then, ensure the decision, rationale, action plan, timetable and accountabilities are documented and interested parties are informed.

If new information becomes available, be willing to revisit your decision to ensure it is still correct and modify your plans accordingly.

Although taking all these steps will not guarantee a perfect outcome, you will have increased the probability of success. Life is a series of decisions, and, by raising the odds, you improve the likelihood of having a great, surpassing life.

Action Points

• Make sure you have a sound decision-making process—don’t decide important issues on a whim.

• If a decision is urgent or not very significant, go with your experience, not an extensive process.

• Don’t fall prey to an artificial deadline. You can usually negotiate the time you need to make a good decision.

• Make sure you are asking the right question before seeking the solution.

• Get input from your advisors and team, and especially those who will be impacted by your decision.

• Have a good debate, then decide and capture your decision on paper.

• Revisit your decision if you get new, substantial information.

Payoff

Sound decisions, more effective plans, stronger buy-in, easier implementation.

 

Inspiring Moment: Family Photo of My Mother

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson

Inspiring Moment: Family Photo of My Mother five more minutes with website

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Five More Minutes With Spends Five Minutes with “God Speaks”

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson on December 2, 2013

Happy clouds photo

God Speaks

By Rainer Maria Rilke 

God speaks to each of us as we are made,

then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are words, the numinous words, we hear

before we begin:

You, called forth by your senses,

reach to the edge of your longing.

Become my body.

Grow like a fire behind things

So their shadows spread and cover me completely.

Let everything into you: beauty and terror.

Keep going. Remember, no feeling is forever.

Don’t lose touch with me.

Nearby is the land they call life.

You will know it by its intensity.

Give me your hand.

  • What is Crazy Love?

    “Crazy Love” was the original title of this column written by our frequent guest columnist John Paul Carter. It was first published in his twice-a-month column, “Notes From the Journey,” in the Weatherford Democrat, and we appreciate him allowing us to run in again for our FMMW audience.

    Thanks a million, as always, John Paul!

    Keep reading What is Crazy Love?...