Maureen Dyvig Archives - d.trio marketing group

10 Ways to Get Happy

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Ahhhh Pharell, you gave us a song to make us happy even as it’s driving us all a little bit crazy. We saw you on Oprah and you seem like a legitimate, caring person. We are even starting to appreciate your exceedingly homely hats. But, you did more than that, for me at least. You made me start questioning and looking at happiness. Not overall Zen-type happiness, but day-to-day, what am I doing, does this really make me happy, happiness. More importantly, I’ve started thinking…what changes can I make to increase happiness in my life?

So, as I go through my day I occasionally ask myself, does doing what I’m doing make me happy at this moment? I acknowledge not everything I do can possibly make me happy, but just asking this question serves two purposes. First, it helps me notice when something does indeed make me happy and secondly, it reminds me to try to figure out a way that I might be able to incorporate just a little bit of happiness into what I’m doing…even if it’s a not so happy task.

So, here are ten simple ways to put a little happiness into your day.

  1. Take a play break. Run up and down a flight or two of stairs or take a quick walk around the office or even better, the block. Send a silly email or leave a fun note on a co-worker’s desk. Figure out something to do that will make you (and maybe others) smile.
  2. If the sun is shining, let it shine on your face for a full minute, even if it’s only through a window.
  3. Search around the radio until you hit on a station playing music you would not normally listen to and give it a chance.
  4. Take the longer, less traveled, scenic road to work.
  5. Put something colorful or beautiful in your office that catches your eye each time you enter.
  6. Toss out some clutter.
  7. Learn something new.
  8. Smile. The action alone sends a message to your brain that your happy. (Apparently the brain is easily fooled.)
  9. Leave an outrageous tip for outrageously good service, or just because your server is having a hard day.
  10. Do a good deed, anonymously.

The hidden secrets of color

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Much as been said and or written about the way color shapes our world, our attitude and our thoughts. This, you may be happy to hear, will not be a blog about the psychology of color…fascinating as the subject is.

The original intent of this blog was to study and report on the use of color and Fung Shui. However, my research on this was a bit disappointing. Red=fire and passion, Yellow=happiness, Blue=tranquility and peace, Pink=softness and love. A bit too expected. I was not finding the usual tidbits of interest that a Fung Shui study usually reveals, except for one many of us already know:
“If you want to inspire prosperity in your life, paint your front door red. Subsequently, if you want everyone to know you want more money in life, paint your front door red.”

So, my quest for a color topic continued. I went on a Google rampage searching for something new and interesting about color to share with our readers. Color surrounds us in marketing and even as we are keenly aware of it and its impact at all times…I wanted to find something different and new.

Turns out I found something different, but not so new. Something pretty old. Early 1900’s old.

And I know, I promised this would not be about the psychology of color, and it isn’t, not exactly. This is a psychology test you can take…about color. Seems it was created by Dr. Max Luscher and has been widely used in Europe for screening job and college applicants for…oh, about 100 years. Dr. Luscher studied the responses of hundreds of thousands of subjects (that’s what they state) and compiled formulas that determine how people feel, based on their color preferences. It takes about 3 minutes to complete and, for me at least, the results were surprisingly interesting and pretty accurate. You can learn more about Dr. Lushcer, or take the test at colorquiz.com.


A lesson in brevity

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Sometimes you can say more with fewer words.

Following is a recent post made by my friend, a middle school science teacher.

Student: “I’m going to miss class tomorrow, I have to go to a violin thing.”
Teacher: “Ok, thanks for telling me.”
Student: Starts to leave and turns back, “By the way, this is my favorite class and I’m going to be an engineer when I grow up.”
Teacher:  “Yes you are.”

Google Glass and Me

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I’m not someone who is normally considered an early adopter of new technology. Technology and I have a sort of mutual respect for each other, meaning we, (or more accurately, I) keep a respectable distance until new and technical becomes easy and less complicated,  mainstream with most of the bugs worked out. When Google Glass was announced, I took my typical “stay away from me” stance and could not imagine anything that I would ever want less in life than to walk around tethered to the internet day in and day out. Never. Ridiculous idea. Not to mention the obvious driving and zombielike walking issues. So, what happens when this tech-averse human finds herself unexpectedly at Google headquarters and some very excited, very nice Google Glass ambassador hands over a pair? WOW. To summarize my experience: it really is all that cool. It understands you and answers questions and commands in a manner that will make Siri pea green with envy. The itty bitty little screen up in the corner of your right eye is actually pretty easy to see and unless you lock onto it, or ‘glass-out’ in Google speak, it might not always impede your vision. moglasses My love affair was short lived as there were others waiting in line like school children eager to take their turn. Will I buy them? Not likely. But will I view them on others with the same disdain? Honestly, probably not as much. I can see now that they actually might have some purpose for some people, but the obvious human interaction problems will be hard to eliminate. Google has just put out a Google Glass Etiquette guide in an attempt to help users understand how to behave while wearing the Glass. It makes for some pretty hilarious reading with advice such as…’respect others who have questions about the Glass and don’t get snappy with them’ and ‘how to avoid being a glasshole.’ For more information, check out the Daily Beast.

Management Perspective

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Years ago, Steve Jobs asked his designers to come up with a portable tablet that would have touch technology and be able to access the internet, and play videos and games. After months (or years) of development, when the prototype was presented to Jobs his immediate reaction was that new device should not be a tablet, it had to be a phone. He was focused on function and user experience and when he saw what could be done, he wanted it do to more.

Such is how the true innovators and inventors think. This mid-stream switch not only made Apple one of the most powerful companies of all time, it was a communication game changer for all of us. We will never know how different things would be if the iPad proceeded the iPhone.

Laser clear focus on the end result is not only an asset when problem solving, or inventing, it is also useful when setting goals. One theory that I recently heard is this; set two goals and you might hit one, set three and likely none, set only one goal and you have the best chance of success.

What my mom meant by fresh

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My mother used to call me fresh. Or more accurately she would say something like, “don’t get fresh with me.”  What I remember most is that being called Fresh felt more like a compliment than an reprimand. Maybe my mother said it with some sort of repressed smile on her face that let me know she somehow appreciated the fresh thing I had just said. Usually I felt pretty good about being fresh.

This month we’ve focused upon and explored the word fresh for our marketing communications. We wrote about fresh campaigns, fresh marketing tools, fresh ways to solve a marketing problem, even old campaigns that are still fresh today. We’ve also posted a blog about the fresh snow that we in Minnesota saw way too much of this April.

But Fresh as an attitude…a sometimes-not-all-that-admirable type of attitude? This seemed worthy of further exploration, especially as it is seldom used today.

The official dictionary definition of fresh in this context is:
Fresh /freSH/: Bold and Saucy.

Kind of like the sound of that. Sounds like a marketing asset. Seems as though being fresh in this business might be a really good thing. (Full disclosure, it was also defined as impudent, but I’m going with Bold and Saucy because I’m sure that’s what my mother meant.)

So here we are. All of us who work in marketing are continually challenged to develop fresh campaigns, ideas, designs, tag lines, tactics and strategies. There exists an endless need for the new, the next, the better…and that’s a really good thing.  We are the purveyors of the the new, the next, the better. We are the daredevils of the business world. We get to push limits. We get to be bold and saucy.

Fresh as the new driven snow.

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(Writer’s note: This was written last week but due to some complications not posted. Who knew it would still be appropriate today April 19th with yet another fresh round 4-12 inches of snow in Minnesota.)

It’s April 11th in Minnesota and we are in the grips of a very unfair Severe Winter Storm Warning. Most of the staff is unable to make it to the office and we are working from home looking out at some 5 or 6 inches of new fallen snow atop treacherous, ubiquitous ice.  Me, I’m trying hard to find what is good or fresh about all this.

So here goes. To our friends and colleagues who live outside of the snow belt…you may have beautiful 70 degree weather, even today. You may have sandy beaches, gentle waves and warm breezes.  You may be spared the wind chill warnings, the blizzards, the ice storms.  But you have not known the therapeutic value, the creative surge and pure joy that comes from the occasional Snow Day. It’s just like Christmas in April. Almost.

In preparation for the snow event, we took work home with us last night,  just in case we couldn’t make it in. The items we take usually consist of the things that we find hard to get to, the stuff at the bottom of our pile, the projects not driven by deadlines but those that require space and thought and time that can be elusive in the day-to-day office environment. In short, the things we put off.  It is at times like this that we are reminded that we are amongst the ‘non-essential’ workforce. We have no lives to save, no actual real fires to put out, no masses to feed, and no citizens to protect. We take our work very seriously and that’s a good thing, but it’s also good to remember that sometimes we may take things too seriously.

Tomorrow we will return to work refreshed. Working remotely we will have kept up with the essential details of all our projects and we will have also taken care of some nagging items on our to do list. We will have walked our dogs at lunchtime or finished our laundry or played in the snow with our kids. Some of us may have baked cookies and will bring them into the office to share. Just a thought.


-Maureen Dyvig is one of the founding partners of  d.trio marketing group