Tuesday, August 31, 2010
A very simple example can be illustrated through sports. When the Miami Heat pulled off one of the biggest trades in the history of the NBA, it was a great thing and people in Miami were elated. However if you lived in Clevland, it was betrayal and the end of your franchise. The people in Clevland were were insanely upset. Oh yeah, and the rest of the country had mixed emotions. Based on how each group thought they would be affected, they determined whether the event was a “good thing” or a “bad thing.” The reality is that not even one single game has been played yet. No one really knows what any of it means. We can have our ideas but nothing has really happened yet. It may be the best thing that ever happened to Clevland and the worst thing that ever happened to Miami.
So how can one event be a good thing, a bad thing, or “no thing” all at once? The answer is that it can’t. It is just an event, neither good nor bad, just an event. That example is simple but powerful because so many people can have their entire mood change and their lives affected from the results of one sporting event. Life is too important and short to be affected by something so trivial.
Here’s a more powerful example: My dad died when I was thirteen and that was a bad thing that happened to me and my family. Or was it? Originally I perceived this to be the most horrific thing that could have happened to me. I spent many nights asking God why he would do this to me. It is only now that I realize that with my father’s death, many great things have happened in my life. My wife, my children and the way I look at life, are all direct results of his death. In short, I am who I am today, because of his death, not inspite of it. I am not suggesting that everything that happens will feel good. I am only suggesting that if you look back at your life, many of the things that you thought to be so horrible at the time, turned out to be good things. In the end when we look back with the benefit of knowing the conclusion, everything will be good.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
We tell our children:
“Always give 100% to everything that you do.”
“Have confidence in yourself.”
“Don’t be so hard on yourself.”
“Don’t settle for just anyone, wait for the right person.”
“You deserve better.”
“Pick your friends wisely.”
“Don’t worry about what other people think.”
“Don’t be a follower, be a leader.”
“Life isn’t always about having fun.”
“If you want something bad enough, I know you will get it.”
The question is, what do we tell ourselves?
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
It goes without saying that leaving early is the best way to avoid all of this but regardless, there will still be traffic and you will still find yourself doing the same morning commute every day. So here are a few things you might do instead of “staring at the clock”:
1. Get a book on CD.
2. Listen to some motivational CD’s.
3. Learn a new language.
4. Talk to your children about the things you never have time to talk about.
5. Call 5 people you think you should talk to once a week
6. Go through the things that you should be thankful for that day or week
I know I am not the only one who has ever asked for peace and quiet. Well there it is, every morning as we drive through traffic. Make good use of it and it will be over in a minute or if you prefer, keeping staring at the clock in the hopes you will make it tick faster.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Yesterday, my sister came over for a few minutes and her kids were neatly packed into her minivan. As I stood at the passenger window and took in everything that was going on in her van, I learned a lot. The twins taught me that although we may all look the same we are all individually unique with our own set of preferences and instead of being judged for that, it should be as interesting and unique as it is with them. Sophia taught me that having strong opinions about what you like and don’t like can be a sign of strength and cute, if presented correctly. Stevie, who is usually a mile a minute, taught me that if your quite and not participating in what is going on, you can be overlooked (he was in stealth mode, I barely knew he was there). Mary as always, taught me that the right attitude makes all the difference in how you perceive the life that you have been given (gifts are given).
Everyone is a teacher if you’re willing to be the student. What will you learn today and from who?
Monday, August 16, 2010
When my kids were much younger my wife and I had little or no time to go to the movies so we began buying DVD’s at Costco. We had calculated that Costco had the best prices and that buying DVD’s was much cheaper than going to the movies. After years of doing this, I began to create a DVD library that I was very proud of. As times changed and the practice of collecting DVD’s no longer made sense, I couldn’t bring myself to recognize this, so I continued to buy and add to my collection. The one adjustment I did make, was to buy them “previewed, 4 for $20” at blockbusters. When people would suggest that I was wasting my money or that I should stop collecting "fossils", it would bother me. I think one of the reasons it bothered me so much is because deep down, I knew they were right. Although I knew that my DVD collection would soon be right next to someone else’s prized VCR collection (Garage Sale or Garbage), I continued collecting them. Recently, a good friend came over and forced me to look at the deal NetFlicks had. For $8.99 a month, I could watch anything I wanted through my computer and or gaming system. In addition to movies they had TV shows. In the worst case scenario, if they didn’t have it available for live streaming they would mail me the DVD with a self addressed envelope and all I had to do is mail it back when I was done. Shockingly enough, I had to think about it. I found myself struggling to let go of the idea of buying DVD’s. The thought of not adding to the collection, bothered me. How could I stop now when I had come this far and had been collecting for so long? When I woke up the next morning, I proudly announced that I would no longer be buying DVD’s (as if though I had climbed Mount Everest). I am so happy with that decision. Once I allowed myself to make it, it was really quite painless.
So why was it so hard to make such a simple decision to change? Is it that we feel changing what we have done for so long, somehow means we are admitting that what we were doing was wrong? Is it that we become identified with our decisions? Is it that we forget to revisit our decisions to see whether or not they continue to make sense? For me, I think it was all of the above and more. What I learned was that I need to constantly revisit all the things I am doing or believing in and see if they still make as much sense as they did when I started.
Friday, August 13, 2010
1. Vacationing – Familiarizing yourself with your destination and the activities that are available as well as creating a budget and schedule will impact the success of your trip.
2. Sports – Practicing and physical preparation as well as diet and sleep will have a direct result on your achievements.
3. College- What was developed in Grade School and High School? Location and size of college as well as how it fits in to what your strengths are academically and socially, will have a direct impact on your chances to succeed.
4. Painting – Preparing the walls. Repair work, taping, primer and selection of paint. Not only will the “prep work” affect the outcome but it can avoid having to do things over again.
“Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity”Henry Hartman
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Sponge Bob = Quirky, sarcastic, funny, a bit off the deep end
Patrick Star = Simple, naïve, jolly, dopey
Squidward = Raspy, Grumpy, Annoyed, Miserable
Mr Krabs = Busy, Money Hungry, Blinded with Ambition
Sandy Cheeks = Happy, smart, savvy, fresh
Plankton = Evil, Wicked, Thief, Mean
Pearl = Happy, Chearful, Positive
Gary = Quiet, slow, misunderstood, lonely
Now, go out into the world and every time you talk to someone, decide which character they resemble and why. I know this sounds silly but there is a point. First, it will bring light to the fact that we all take ourselves way to serious. Secondly, it will allow you to see how our actions can group us into a category of people, we may not want to be associated with. Lastly, it might make us further understand that our individuality provides for one heck of a good show. I mean how much fun would life be if everyone was Sponge Bob?
To win the game, ask yourself who you think you most resemble and why. Then ask yourself, who you think most people would pick you to be and why. Who would you like to be? Are they the same? What could you do to change your character? An important thing to remember is that people will communicate with you differently based on what character you portray. Make sure that if you want to be treated like Sponge Bob, you’re not acting like Squidward.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Example: If you have that one person at work that really annoys you and you just can’t seem to get away from them, ask yourself:
What is it about this person that causes me discomfort as a person?
Is there a insecurity in me that this person irritates or brings to the surface?
What message have I sent or am I sending, to that person on a daily basis?
What have I done to try to try to improve the relationship?
Assuming that the person is just a miserable person, have I tried to understand why?
Do I believe that contrary to the rest of the world this person does not want to be liked?
Do I challenge myself to break through and become that persons friend?
If we sit around waiting for others to change, we take the control out of our hands, if we take responsibility and therefore assume action, we take control of our lives.
My dad use to say that anyone could sail a ship but it took a captain to sail through rough seas. I have told my kids anyone can get good grades with an easy teacher but it takes a real student to get good grades with a bad teacher that you don’t like. The people that we meet in our lives will define our character and it won’t be the ones we like.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
1. Maybe your favorite TV show is that night
2. Maybe you go out to lunch with your peers
3. Maybe you just want a change of environment after being at home Sat and Sunday
4. Maybe it gives you a chance to talk to your peers about the big game
5. Maybe the kids go back to school during the day and you get a break
6. Maybe there’s a hotty in your chemistry class. (no I don’t take chemistry)
Perception becomes reality and the more we tell ourselves that one day is a bad day and another is a good day, the more it becomes reality. Every day is different and for that reason alone, they are all good days. Forget about, “thank God it’s Friday” and try, “thank God it’s my day.” If you live your life waiting for Friday, it will come and go every week, taking you for an emotional rollercoaster. If you live your life for “my day” it will last forever.
For those of you who live for Friday, it’s here, so enjoy and make the most of it because your current bad to good day ratio is, 2(Fri, Sat) out of 7(Sun thru Thurs)
Thursday, August 5, 2010
I recently had someone tell me they were proud of me. It caught me off guard because it was something that is typically not said. I spent a lot of that day thinking about what I could have done to evoke such a comment. It wasn’t a family member, whom one would usually associate with those words but instead it was a friend and someone I had spent little time with over the years. Those four words empowered me. As many of you know, my father died when I was 13 and in the last 30 years, I have seldom heard those words. With those four words, that person made a difference in my life and as a result, a difference in the lives of everyone I will encounter. Realize the power that you carry in your words and use them.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
A storm forms deep inside of me, for things I can’t control
I search the clouds for answers, because I don’t feel whole
Thunder shows in desperation and drowns my thoughts completely
Then silence and vast empty lands, show only to deplete me
I set in search for rainbows, the good things in my life
Dark sky’s of desperation, they cut me like a knife
In desperate search for cover, the rains persist to come
The drowning overwhelms me, my colors start to run
Standing soaked in burden, the wind will pay my toll
For passing rains will wet my body, but the sun will dry my soul
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
It is up to us to decide what we want to feed our minds in regards to our relationships. We can feed our minds junk food and end up building unhealthy relationships. I think we should feed our minds healthy thoughts and in turn end up with healthy relationships that will keep us happy and last a lifetime.