Storytelling at Work
December 08, 2019
Raise Your Online Voices High

What if ONE LIT CANDLE was produced this way?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:09 AM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2019
The Robbers

Dachsund.jpg

When I was 13, my sister was 18. She was the proverbial big sister. I was the proverbial little brother. And though she called me "twerp" and I called her "fatso", it was always comforting to know she was in the next room, especially on the nights when our parents went out. I wouldn't be alone. My sister was there.

But when she went off to college, everything changed. Now I was the only child in the house. Now it was just me.

I will never forget my first night alone. My parents, after dinner, casually informed me they were going out for the evening but would be back at a "reasonable hour." They petted the dog, gave me a hug, and were gone in a flash. I stood by the front door, listening, until the sound of their Oldsmobile disappeared into the distance. Then I made myself a huge bowl of ice cream, retreated to my room, turned on the TV, flopped down on my bed, and started doing my homework.

So far so good. The ice cream was yummy. The capital of Montana was Helena, and the Mets were leading 4-2. That's when I started hearing the SOUNDS -- very strange sounds coming from the kitchen... troubling sounds... scary sounds... the kind robbers make when looking for things to steal.

Like my mother's set of sterling silver, for example -- the extremely expensive set of sterling silver given to her years ago by my rich Uncle Herman.

The sounds from the kitchen continued -- sounds I had never heard before. And then... absolutely nothing... nothing at all... just silence... a deadly silence... the kind that could only mean one thing -- the robbers had just poisoned my dog. Or strangled her.

The moment of truth was upon me. Laying on my bed, eating the last of my ice cream, I had a decision to make. A big one. Do I turn up the sound of my TV so the robbers will know someone is home and leave on their own, or do I confront them, saving my mother's sterling silver before they get away?

It may have seemed like a choice, but it wasn't. I knew, in my heart of hearts, there was only one thing to do. So I got off my bed and began making my way, ninja-like, oh so slowly, out of my room, down the hallway, past the bathroom, closer and closer to the closed kitchen door. My heart was pounding, my breath coming faster, my mind was racing. Standing just a foot from the door, I stopped and listened. An eternity passed. The sounds from the kitchen continued. And then, raising my right foot, I kicked open the door and leaped into the kitchen, letting out the kind of scream karate guys make when they attack.

The first thing I saw was my dog, Doxie, looking up at me, wagging her tail. She was alive! Alive! I bent down to pet her, no robbers in sight, having obviously heard me coming and vamoosed out the side door. I stood up and walked a few steps to the table where the sterling silver set was supposed to be in its velvety blue box. It was there -- just a few inches away from the spice rack and the stack of Life Magazines. I open it slowly. Not a fork or spoon was missing. Not a knife. I made my way to the pantry and gave my dog a treat. Then I returned to my room, finished my ice cream, memorized the capital of Vermont (Montpelier) and watched the end of the baseball game. Then I turned on my clock radio and went to bed.

This same drama must have played itself out at least 50 times in the next two years. My strategy, I must say, worked like a charm . From the time I was 13 until I was 15, not a single thing was ever stolen from our house.

COMMENTARY: This little story of mine played out 59 years ago. For the six decades that followed, only two people ever heard about about my heroics -- my best friend, Matt, and my wife, Evelyne. And yet for me, now 72, taking the time to reflect on this story and share it with you has been a revelation. While laughable in many ways, I've gotten some keen insights into my psyche and how I, at an early age, became wired to deal with the unknown, whether real or imagined. My self-invented rite-of-passage was how I learned to deal with fear and the choices before me. First, I learned I needed to be alert to the subtle clues around me. Then I learned I had a choice. Then I learned I had to choose. Once my choice was made, everything was cool. I was no longer a victim, no longer a boy hiding in his room, but a man of action. And the danger? Gone.

Excerpted from Storytelling for the Revolution
Pet Portraits by Evelyne Pouget
Photo: Artem Sapegin

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:49 AM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2019
Fire, Gratitude, and the Full Moon

IMG_3264.JPG

Wonderful photograph by Colin Pence, taken at the Full Moon Ceremony at the Charco, on November 12th, in San Miguel de Allende.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:01 PM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2019
Let Your Inner Animal Out!

Just a quick heads up to let you know about a great new service being offered by Evelyne Pouget -- one that might be right up your alley, especially if there is (or has been) a special poochie, kitty, horse, or other soulful animal in your life.

75412088_10156884161231158_5709151931805466624_n.jpg

"I LOVE the painting! It is so lifelike and I truly feel Sparky's presence in the house. It's truly remarkable. I'm so very grateful to Evelyne for creating such a timeless treasure. The painting will be displayed prominently in my living room for all to see. He's watching over me still. So much gratitude to you!" -- Suzanne Leon

Evelyne is an extraordinarily talented artist (oil pastels, oils, and digital paintings) who also does commission work. The process of engaging her services is simple. All you need to do is email her a jpg of a photo you want her to work from. Depending on the composition of the photo, size, and medium you want (oil pastel or oil painting), she will quote you an exact fee.

Assuming you want to proceed, I will send you a more detailed summary of her process and a Letter of Agreement for your signature. Super easy. No stress. And the product you will receive will totally delight you.

See below for more examples of Evelyne's pet portraits:

kayaJacob.jpg

"The oil pastel work Evelyne created of my dog, Kaya. is one of my most prized possessions! She truly captured Kaya's essence -- her sweetness, bright spirit, and loving nature. This beautiful piece is something I will always cherish." -- Sarah Jacob

CosmicKittty.jpg

BonnieRobin2.jpg

goldenhorse.jpg

poochiepie.jpg

Blackhorse.jpg

Collie2.jpg

collie.jpg

ReinaHorse.jpg

PastelMane.jpg

Evelyne also specializes in people portraits
And horse portraits

CONTACT: Mitch Ditkoff, mitch@ideachampions.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:51 PM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2019
He's Got Speed, Determination, Moves, Guts, and Balls

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:58 AM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2019
Bedbound 11 Years, He Invents His Own Surgery

If you have a big challenge, problem, or seemingly insurmountable task, here is a homeopathic dose of exactly what you need. Nothing is impossible. Where there is a will, there is a way. Wow!

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:40 AM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2019
THE HEART OF DOWNSIZING

Man jumping for joy2.jpg

Next week I am submitting a treatment for my new book on downsizing to a very savvy agent in NYC and am asking for YOUR input if you have 5 minutes and some curiosity.

My book will not merely be a common sense guide to downsizing, as there are quite a few good books on that topic already. My book will be more about the "inner experience" and what there is to learn about life and ourselves from the effort.

Below is a list of possible chapters for the book. I'd love your input. Do any of these sing to you? Are there any other chapters you would like me to include?

Child Silent shhh2.jpg

1. CONSUMERISM: I Have, Therefore I Am

2. IMPERMANENCE: All Things Must Pass

3. LETTING GO: The Art of Lightening Your Load

4. VOLUNTARY SIMPLICITY: When Less Is More

5. GIFTING: Nothing is Created or Destroyed, Only Transformed

6. DEER IN THE HEADLIGHTS: How to Begin

7. NEED VS. WANT: Getting Down to the Basics

8. THE YOGA OF DOWNSIZING: Shedding Light on Your Self

9. ONE DOOR CLOSES, ANOTHER OPENS: Creating the Next Chapter of Your Life

10. CHOOSING: Toss, Sell, Give, Keep, or Store?

11. KEEPING THE ELATION IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP: How to Keep Your Marriage Together When Letting Go of Stuff

12. DOWNSIZING WISDOM OF THE AGES: What the Great Spiritual Traditions Have to Say the Material World

13. YOUR DOWNSIZING GAME PLAN: 10 Simple Steps to Moving On With Your life

Bottom line, I see this book as a way to talk about some pretty BIG LIFE PRINCIPLES we all need to eventually deal with -- and I want to do so in a way that is accessible, entertaining, and meaningful to people. "Downsizing" merely becomes the catalyst for us to look into the mirror of our lives (not to mention our basement, garage, and closets).

One of my goals is to get a sizable advance, so I can let go of my various day job projects and really focus on the writing. Towards that end, I will be launching a GoFundMe campaign soon. I will post that link here in the hopes that you will be willing and able to become part of my grassroots effort to fund the writing and marketing of the book. It takes a village.

The working title of the book? THE HEART OF DOWNSIZING: When It's Time to Lighten Your Load.

NOTE: The book will also include short, real-life stories from my life to further paint the picture. Here's an example.

MitchDitkoff.com
Writing the next story of your life

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2018
The First Hijab-Wearing International Model

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:52 PM | Comments (0)

March 18, 2018
HOLY FOOL'S DAY: March 25th

Gail Larsen initiated Holy Fools Day in 2014, and in this fourth year of bringing a wonderful spark of madness to the world, you're invited to join Gail, Wisdom Healing Qigong Master Mingtong Gu, Sacred Activist Andrew Harvey and a fervent group of transformational speakers to take your own wild leap of faith. What one bold action are you ready to take toward the change you want to see in the world?

Register here. It's free!

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:05 AM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2017
The Afghani Cab Driver and the $250M Dollar Salty Snack Food

The story in the Huffington Post
13 of my video stories on GlowDec
Podcast, interviews, and storytelling links
Who I am in the marketplace

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2017
This Person Most Likely Has No Match.com Profile

17492550_10154409662331629_4087362758316989563_o.jpg

Photo: EvelynePouget

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:32 PM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2017
My Open Letter to Donald Trump Published in the Huffington Post

a2qvtnsk5um-trent-yarnell.jpg

My open letter to Donald Trump has just been published in the Huffington Post -- my attempt to light a candle instead of cursing the darkness. If you resonate with what I've written, please forward it to friends and post on social media. Thanks! Mitch

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:24 PM | Comments (0)

ABOUT THE BLOG

Storytelling at Work is a blog about the power of personal storytelling – why it matters and what you can do to more effectively communicate your stories – on or off the job. Inspired by the book of the same name, the blog features "moment of truth" stories by the author, Mitch Ditkoff, plus inspired rants, quotes, and guest submissions by readers.

Order the book:

MitchDitkoff.com
Click here for the simplest, most direct way, to learn more about Idea Champions' semi-fearless leader, Mitch Ditkoff. Info on his keynotes, workshops, conferences, and more.
Storytelling for the Revolution
Storytelling for the Revolution is Mitch Ditkoff's newly published book about the power of personal storytelling to elevate the conversation on planet Earth. Provocative. Evocative. And fun. YOU have stories to tell. This book will help you tell them.
Storytelling at Work
"The world is not made of atoms," wrote the poet, Muriel Rukeyser. "It's made of stories." Learn how to discover, honor, and unpack the stories of yours that show up "on the job" in Mitch Ditkoff's award-winning 2015 book, Storytelling at Work.
Top 5 Speaker
Mitch Ditkoff, the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions, has recently been voted a top 5 speaker in the field of innovation and creativity by Speakers Platform, a leading speaker's bureau.
Authorized Reseller Logo – GoLeanSixSigma.com
Workshops & Trainings
Highly engaging learning experiences that increase each participant's ability to become a creative force for positive change
Brainstorm Facilitation
High impact certification training that teaches committed change agents how to lead groundbreaking ideation sessions
Cultivating Innovation
Your "best and brightest" are the future leaders of your company, but unless they know how to foster a culture of innovation, their impact will be limited. A one-day workshop with us is all they need to begin this journey.
Our Blog Cabin
Our Heart of Innovation blog is a daily destination for movers and shakers everywhere — gleefully produced by our President, Mitch Ditkoff, voted "best innovation blogger in the world" two years running.
Team Innovation
Innovation is a team sport. Brilliant ideas go nowhere unless your people are aligned, collaborative, and team-oriented. That doesn't happen automatically, however. It takes intention, clarity, selflessness, and a new way of operating.
Awake at the Wheel, Book about big ideas If you're looking for a powerful way to jump start innovation and get your creative juices flowing, Awake at the Wheel is for you. Written by Mitch Ditkoff, Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions.
Face the Music Blues Band The world's first interactive business blues band. A great way to help your workforce go beyond complaint.

"In tune with corporate America." — CNN
© IDEA CHAMPIONS