I’ll admit it:  I’m a sucker for a good New Year’s Resolution.

I make one every year.  And while I rarely actually follow through on my resolutions, crafting one in the first week of the new year matters to me.  It forces me into some deliberate reflection about what is going well — and what needs to change — in both my personal and professional life.

That reflection matters, y’all.  We live in a world that moves a thousand miles an hour.  Sitting still and thinking carefully — about who we are and who we want to be — rarely happens.  Instead, we sprint through every day, struggling to keep up and missing out on the moments that make life truly worth living.

So I woke up early this morning and spent some time alone.  I looked back at the successes and the struggles that I had in all aspects of my life looking for trends and patterns that I could use to identify a small change worth making to improve on who I am.

My resolution for this year might surprise you:  I’ve decided that If I want to be a better husband, father, friend, author, teacher and professonal developer, I need to go topless in 2015.

Now I know what you are thinking:  We’d ALL like to see Bill go topless more often.  When he is with us, he always seems to be completely consumed by the phones, computers and tablets littering his workspace.  In fact, the entire top of his desk is nothing more than an uncomfortably big, fat, hairy distraction waiting to happen.

Whether he’s banging out a few emails on his laptop, checking his Twitterstream on his iPad, or playing Two Dots on his phone, we NEVER feel like we have his complete attention.  His insistence on bringing gadgets to every meeting, every after school function, every social event and every meal means we are never completely connected with him — and if he would just commit to leaving those devices behind when he was spending time with the actual human beings in his life, he’d be more powerful AND more personable.

If a topless Bill means that his desk — and his mind — will be cleared of distractions when we are with him, then WE WANT A TOPLESS BILL!

That IS what you were thinking, right?!


Wouldn’t the world be a better place if EVERYONE went topless in 2015?  No longer would we feel disconnected from — or disrespected by — the people we work and live with who check out the moment they sit behind a screen.  Maybe eye contact would make a comeback — and maybe we’d learn a thing or two about our peers through their body language.  Maybe relationships would be stronger — built on simple conversations that just can’t happen when people are too busy “checking their stream” or “building their brand” or “finishing up one last thing” to be fully present.

Heck, this might be far fetched, but MAYBE we’d learn to REALLY laugh out loud again, instead of LOLing and ROTFLing our way through 140 character conversations carried out in “social spaces” while we are willfully ignoring the people who are actually in the same rooms as we are.


Going topless isn’t my idea.  I stumbled across it in this Fast Company article.  But it is something that I’m committed to trying because I really DO feel disconnected from the people that I am the closest to — and I find that I struggle to be fully present when my devices are close by.

So my promise to you is this:  Every time that you see me this year, I will be completely and totally and absolutely topless.

I’m not bringing a single device to a single meeting.  Any table that I sit at will be absent of distractions.  You will have my complete attention.  I will laugh with you, talk with you, argue with you, agree with you, and let you know through my actions that you are just as important to me as anyone living behind the screens that have so frequently sucked me in.

And if you bring your gadgets, you’d better not put them on the tabletop.  Otherwise, I’m calling you on it.



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