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Some sequences of events are impossible to explain.  You have to sit back, smile, and enjoy the ride.  That happened today in the most unlikely of ways.

Part 1: Linda and I had plans to go mattress shopping to replace our 32-year-old mattress that we bought one year into our marriage.  (Yes, you read that right.  Our Sealy Posturepedic is 32 years old.)

Part 2: I subscribe to a couple of financial newsletters.  Rarely is there advice in them on matters unrelated to financial investing.  Today’s newsletter was a reprint of a past article by Mark Ford, founder of The Palm Beach Letter advisory on how to live as well as a billionaire.  His main point was that “The best material things in life are affordable.  They are not cheap – quality never is – but if you buy them selectively and use them with care, you can enjoy a life as materially rich as Bill Gates on an income that wouldn’t get him through lunch.”  And Ford’s first subject in a list of examples was… wait for it… buying a mattress.

He went on to talk about how a really great mattress might cost $5000, but that if you find a way to get it, you will sleep as good as anyone can as far as it depends on the mattress being used.  I scoffed at the notion of paying $5000 for a mattress, but took to heart the unlikelihood of reading that advice only hours before we would be shopping for one.  Ford’s final words in his letter were “don’t scrimp on the mattress.”

Part 3: Linda and I went to the Sleep Number booth at the state fair and after much discussion and testing out, we purchased a mattress that retails for just over $5000.  We paid 40% less than that for it, but the irony was too great to miss.

We hope this is the last mattress we ever have to buy.  A good night’s sleep is important.  We definitely didn’t scrimp.

I’m not sure I would have made the same purchase decision without getting the financial newsletter earlier today – two normally unrelated things that converged at the perfect time.

Leap year lesson #230 is Seeming coincidences may not be coincidental.

I will be en route to China from early Thursday morning through Friday morning.  I will not return home to Louisville until late next week.  As long as I have the Internet access I expect to have in my hotels, I will still blog daily during my trip.  If, for some reason, I do not have such access, I will still write them while away and then post them upon my return.


widening circlesWhen I began this blog in April 2011 I expected to devote the space nearly exclusively to the subject of social learning. It is a topic of enormous interest to me. I am a strong advocate of it where I work. I spend way too much time pursuing the matter on my own time outside of work. In my role as community manager for our large, internal online community, I have the opportunity to promote the use of our social platform as a primary way people can share, collaborate and learn in the flow of their daily work. I could not ask for a better laboratory for social learning.

But as I ponder subjects for this blog, it is apparent that I also need to reflect on and write about other topics that may or may not always have a connection to social learning. Specifically, I want to write about community management, social media, collaboration and business practices that support or inhibit progress in the enterprise. The overall subject is still primarily social, but the details going forward will not always be about social learning.

It’s time to widen the circle. Stay with me for the journey.