Keys To Life At The DNC: Take Care Of The Little Things

09/28/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Mar 17, 2015

Today was another amazing day at the DNC. T. Boone Pickens came to the Oasis before joining John Podesta (former Clinton Chief of Staff and CEO of Progress America) and Carl Pope (Executive Director of the Sierra Club) in the Big Tent to Talk about energy alternatives and how we can each make a difference. An amazing convergence of people sharing the same stage to present the same message!

The Oasis continues to attract a wide spectrum of interesting and interested people. T. Boone Pickens stopped by, followed shortly by John Paul DeJoria of John Paul Mitchell Systems and Craig Newmark (yes, THE Craig of Craigslist).

From homeless to personal-care products, multimillionaire to philanthropist, John Paul DeJoria brings quite a repertoire of experience with him wherever he goes. I asked John Paul what he does to recharge in the midst of the multiple challenges he addresses every day. He has a great and simple formula: take a drink of water, close your eyes, and go for a 5 minute power nap. He also said that "pure passion" works as well: "Embrace what you care about, encourage yourself and others, continue doing what you are doing."

Given all that he has done, I couldn't resist asking what advice he would have for those who care and haven't found how to channel their caring. Not surprisingly, he had something simple to offer: find something you are passionate about, and do something, anything that moves in that direction. If you care about pollution, how about picking up that piece of litter on the street? It might not clean up the local park, but it sure won't hurt!

Kind of fits perfectly well with the messages we heard on energy solutions. It doesn't have to be significant to be important and it doesn't have to be important to be significant. Pretty Zen, don't you think?

I asked him about the conflicts that arise from time to time between groups or individuals who both care about the same issue and yet disagree on how to get there. John Paul reminded me that the frequency of the planet is rising, that cultures are changing, and the main thing is to be involved, that "your way is the right way" as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.

Craigslist founder, Craig Newmark stopped by today for a little R&R, received a foot massage, and shared a few of his thoughts about how he unwinds. After candidly admitting that he is not so good at relaxing, he shared a number of interesting thoughts. For one, he turns to customer service as a way to unwind! He likes to read or simply watch a little TV from time to time. His favorites seem to revolve around dogs, whether at the local café with friends and their dogs, or the next door neighbor's black lab who seems in constant search of treats. He also maintains some bird feeders behind his SF home, and just watching the birds brings a sense of calm and restoration.

Perhaps today's theme is about getting involved at the simplest of levels, following what you care about. Kind of reminds me of advice I heard a long time ago: if you watch after the little things, the big things will take care of themselves.

I'd love to hear from you. Please do leave a comment here or drop me an email at Russell (at)


If you want more information on how you can apply this kind of reframing to your life and to your job, about a few simple steps that may wind up transforming your life, please download a free chapter from my new book, Workarounds That Work. You'll be glad you did.

Russell Bishop is an educational psychologist, author, executive coach and management consultant based in Santa Barbara, Calif. You can learn more about my work by visiting my website at You can contact me by e-mail at Russell (at)