Flying is the ultimate expression of technology and humanity

Everytime I take off in my Cirrus SR20 I feel like I am about to be lifted by the virtues of humanity. I can’t help but think of how many innovations came from so many people dreaming of so many possibilities to make it safer, faster, stronger, quieter. And how I enjoy these things is beyond words.
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How many unfortunate, unplanned ‘landings’ have inspired brilliant innovations allowing the profound dream of flight to prosper. That little cuff on the wing, the ballistic parachute that explodes out the back of my plane with the pull of a handle if all things start pointing ‘down’ without my approval . There is a sense of teamwork that transcends generations, companies, and countries. Human beings are such a powerful team. We get it right so much of the time that we forget how incredible we work together for the things that lift us up!
It is easy to forget about this when something doesn’t go as planned. For some reason, I end up losing the greater context and become a victim in the micro moment of misfortune losing sight of all that is fortunate on the greater clock in the sky. Things happen in airplanes all the time and pilots demonstrate their virtues of humanity through their application of knowledge on to the technology that is the expression of someone else’s knowledge. We figure stuff out. That’s what we all do.
Next time you take a trip across the country at 40,000 feet going 500 miles per hour after complaining about your 30 minute delay you might want to challenge the context of your view to include the miracle of our ability to rise above. I hope you can join me at that moment celebrating on the wings of humanity.
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Something good to help with insomnia

Interestingly, at the age of 43, I’ve been having some serious issues with insomnia. All my life, I’ve never had a problem sleeping! The old adage, “you don’t know what you’re missing until it’s gone”, definitely applies here! However, I’m doing everything in my power to use this time (anywhere from 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.) somewhat productively. The majority of the time, I think about work. Now you might think that’s a negative or stressful thing. It’s not. For the past seven years, the best thing that has happened to me in my entire life (outside of being in my amazing family) has been the decision to become a part of Odyssey Teams, Inc.. The company has grown three-fold over the years and we have some incredible programs to offer the world (if I do say so myself). We offer everything from our Life Cycles Program (a bike building / teambuilding experience), our Playhouse Project, the Helping Hands Program to traditional ropes courses. I seriously pinch myself everyday and am so thankful that I love getting up in the morning to go to the office! Outside of the fulfilling, rewarding work we do, I have the pleasure of spending my hours with my fabulous colleagues. If you personally know any of these people, you know exactly what I’m talking about! You don’t find this kind of quality just anywhere. So…when I’m awake all those hours when the streets are quiet, the hustle and bustle of the day is over and everyone is asleep, I’m reflecting on this team of people. They have touched my life, made me a happier person and I feel thankful that I get to work alongside them everyday of my life!

‘Sorry’ – a tool for healing

Isn’t it a terrible feeling to let someone down? I think this is one of the hardest emotions to deal with (especially if you’re a Type A personality such as myself). Having someone you love and respect be disappointed in you is one of worst emotions and I strive SO hard to never let it happen. But then…being human steps into the fold. I try to tell myself that “everyone does it from time to time”, that “my intentions were good”, “I didn’t mean to have that happen” or possibly make some excuse as to why things didn’t go according to the original plan. I woke up today not realizing that my day would unfold and a glaring “let down” would make itself known. It was a terrible moment. I saw it coming from the second I heard, “can we spend just 5 minutes on the phone” discussing this project. I knew. The sinking feeling swept over me and my gut fell into my Uggs! This stinks! I am always on top of my game and this situation came back to bite me in the rear end unexpectedly! OK…time to get my mind spinning on WHY the project didn’t happen and HOW to fix it immediately to dissolve the pit in my stomach and make things better with the person I let down. I apologized immediately and took responsibility for my shortcomings with regard to managing this project and not providing my own personal input. I went for a long walk in the park to clear my mind and reviewed that the “Type A” can make mistakes in life too! It’s OK. One mistake doesn’t outweigh the thousands of things we do right each day. There are two little words that can make everything better if they are said with genuineness…I’m sorry. It’s amazing how these words can heal anger, hurt or disappointment in an instant. After my heartfelt apology, I got into action and called in the cohorts to get the job done! We’re already on our way (in a couple short hours) of meeting our initial goal. Man…it’s much better to face a difficult project than it is to face disappointing someone you love!

Odyssey’s bike building, teambuilding program called Life Cycles

When teams build bikes for kids, teams are brought together. Click here for more information on the original Life Cycles bicycle building teambuilding. Kids and bikes… bikes and kids, is there a better match than kids and bikes? Odyssey’s bike building, teambuilding program called Life Cycles is a great event to promote teamwork. Building bikes are a great way to build teams and work as a team. Walking into a room with kids and seeing the kids look at all the bikes in the room that are for each kid is a wonderful teambuilding experience. Kid’s light up when they see bikes. Teambuilding is great for the participants, especially when they are donating a bike to a kid. Building bikes takes teamwork. When building a bike that will be donated to a kid the teamwork is more effective and memorable. When kids walk in and see bikes and the groups that built the bike see the kids, smiles and tears are on every face. Build bikes for kids for better teamwork today.

Have you ever started a smile chain?

Its simple…just smile and say pass it on. Smiling is the quickest way to relax every muscle in your body, bring cheer someone’s day, and add value to someone’s life.
The times when I smile the most are when I am at an Odyssey Life Cycles Event, the teambuilding, bike building event. At this event it is apparent how rewarding it is to donate bikes to kids. Not only do I get to see these kids’ faces light up, but also I am able to help them learn about the value of a smile and saying thank you.
Being in the room with the kids before they get their bikes is a really fun experience because many times, the kids do not know that they are getting a bike. Usually the kids think they are on a field trip. There is excitement from the moment they arrive. As the unveiling of the bikes gets closer it is really fun to watch the kids smiling as they line up and are given numbers. When they walk in the room their faces exude excitement as they see the shiny new bikes in the room. Every person is smiling and so thankful for the past hour that they had either building the bike, or waiting in anticipation. I am confident that every person does one RAOK (random act of kindness) they would not have done after they leave that program. It is the best way to show people that actions speak louder than words and that the things we do have a profound impact on those around us. Don’t believe me? Start a smile chain.

Teambuilding. What comes to mind?

Just a way to spend the day? What about an investment into the future? No matter what teambuilding experiences you may have done before, none of it compares to a teambuilding program with Odyssey Teams, Inc. Odyssey not only provides hands on teamwork and applicable life application, but has found a way to incorporate philanthropy and make investments in the future.
Building a bike for a kid that has never had one before is one of the most rewarding experiences of a lifetime, in my opinion, one that every person should have. Building a bike that is donated to a kid is a very memorable experience. Watching the kids face light up as they see their brand new bike that was built just for them is a once in a lifetime experience. Additionally, each child learns about the importance of gratitude and appreciation. Many of these kids never thought that they could have a bike that they could call their own. With Odyssey and their teambuilding experience, not only do they provide a bike, but the investment into a kid’s life that says they are worth it. It speaks volumes to parents and volunteers that companies would take time out of their day to build a bike and donate it to their kid. Every person leaves the program smiling and ready to go out and do a little more good in their day. So far 10,000 bikes have been given away… imagine the return on that investment.

Yesterday the pigs got out.

Yesterday the pigs got out. We are all getting ready to go to work, school, the gym and get our day started and 10 year old Adam ran out back to feed our 5 pigs. After looking out the kitchen window, it was taking way longer than usual, I went out to check on him. There he was sitting on a stool crying while 2 of the pigs were running around. Totally helpless. Now, when a pig gets loose (since you all have experienced this, I’m sure) its hard to get it back in the pen by yourself. They like to run around and need to be guided on 3 sides to pointing them where to go and tap them on the shoulder to keep them focused and prod them along. After wiping some tears, Adam and I corralled the pigs and got them back where they needed to be. We walked back to the house with my arm around his shoulder more connected than we had been earlier that morning.
Sometimes in life the pigs get out, and our first reaction is to sit on a stool totally helpless. Remember, there are people there that want to help you and get you back on track. We don’t need to live life alone, doing everything by ourselves. There are people out there, guiding us on all sides tapping us on the shoulder and making sure we get back to where belong, because they care for you and want the best for you. You may relate to any person in this story, but know that which ever one you are your role is incredibly important. The journey begins…
Katie Connett,

Build something lately?

Something unique happens when a person builds something; a model airplane, a garden, a scrapbook, or woodworking project etc. Time and moods seem to shift and a sense of pride and accomplishment shows up when the builder steps back and looks at their tangible creation.
Team building is important. Teams nowadays have new members joining on and other members moving on. Change is in the mix at many levels. Teams can always use ‘time out’ to practice fundamentals, to get back on track, and realign. Often models, theories, and powerpoint presentations are the design of choice for these issues. We say, mix it up. Build something.
Build something real! Build a bike for a surprised tyke. Build a helping ‘Hand’ for a disabled youth. Build a playhouse for a youth center. Build a team in the process, and something ‘real’. Feel the difference.
Communication, networking, strategy, decision making, leadership skills and development all happen naturally as people and teams build things together. We’ve seen this happen time an again for all sizes and types of groups in our Life Cycles, Helping Hands, and Playhouse Project programs. The bonus is that the learning is anchored with an emotional/visceral feeling of pride, camaraderie, and the sense of making a difference.
So when teambuilding is in order for a sales meeting, a launch, a boost, an acknowledgement, or a quick realignment to what really is important for self, team, and business. Mix it up. Build something real!

Helping Hands, inspired by Odyssey’s Life Cycles bike building program focuses on prosthetic ‘hands’ and teamwork

Click here to go directly to the Helping Hands and Life Cycles-Bike building programs. Join us in pushing your team’s potential as Odyssey pushes the envelope of teambuilding with our new program Helping Hands™. The product of a magical meeting of the minds between Odyssey Owner Lain Hensley and Michael Mendonca, President of the LN-4 Project, Helping Hands will show your team how to step outside perceived limitations to the place of possibility. We’ll help you develop skills that go beyond the traditional definitions to authentic internal experiences of what it means to be successful.
In this program, we combine curriculum, activities and key note addresses with the cooperative problem-solving exercise of actually assembling brand new, highly functional prosthetic hands that will be distributed to disabled children in Developing Nations. This powerful combination leverages the hyperbolic speed of change and technology and resurrects the essence of community involvement. We call it believing beyond the evidence. It’s revolutionary, because it’s evolutionary. It takes who we are and helps us imagine, and in turn, manifest, who we could be. It’s a skill reserved for people, businesses and organizations who are driven to achieve their full potential. We think that’s you.
We’re excited and honored to be part of something as big and beautiful as Helping Hands™. If you are new to Odyssey or if your team has already been inspired by our Life Cycles™ bicycle building teambuilding or other workshops, we invite you to call and learn more about our brand new program. Together, we can change the world.

Why can’t a bike built by a team for children stand up on its own? Because it’s two tired

Have you often noticed that from the outside everything looks bright, shiny, strong, and new – like a brand new bike? Then when looking closely realize there isn’t a kickstand to hold it up, nor a person to give it support for it’s ultimate use?
People on teams need support; even if they are over there by themselves looking ‘OK’. Is it safe enough for them to say ‘help, please’? Are you in tune enough to notice they’re off their game and offer them help?
Teambuilding programs such as Odyssey’s Life Cycles – bicycle building program provide opportunities for people to practice asking for help and for helping others. People are willing to do so because the teambuilding environment is politically level and because the tasks are mostly new for everyone involved. There is ‘no shame’ in asking for help…even if it’s “How do I build a bike? Also, people don’t get an ‘I’m good, I can do it alone’ response when they are offered a helping hand. It’s safe, thus, more people are willing to offer support and wisdom and ask for it too.
So whether you’re going to build a bike or not…keep your eye on what systems or what people are in place to let that piece of potential reach its maximum. Make it safe for someone to say “I need a kickstand” or “let me help you get that bike going”.

It's Powerful Stuff.


WHEN PEOPLE FEEL LIKE ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.