Wednesday, October 31, 2012

All of a sudden, I feel time stretched


Recently, I have gone back into an office routine.  My hours are 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, with a half hour lunch.  My commute time is almost 40 minutes.  That is the longest drive I have ever had for work.  Believe me when I say that I am grateful to be back in the game.  Yet, I can't help but notice that I am stretched for time and this is not how I would have things to be.  Whereas, I use to have plenty of time to write my blog, listen to podcasts, and exercise.  Now I have to hurry to do those things in the morning or evening.  It feels like the most important things are getting short changed.  In fact, I would like to be back working, earning good pay, making a difference, but I would still like to have a large quantity of time to operate my life.  My spiritual side is thinning as is my time at home.  Going to church on Wednesdays does not looks like a possibility for a the time being.

This is a dilemma and I don't really know if there is much I can do about it.  I am trying to listening to podcasts when I drive.  I am making an effort to still exercise and write.  Yet, three hours or so in the evening is not the buffer of time I am use to or would find ideal.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ideal job


The work setting would be an office environment.  As I am a process person, I would use technology and systems to complete my work flow.  My job would be done on a MacBook Pro as I sat in my HumanScale Freedom Chair.  I could have my privacy and the opportunity to move around as needed.  This location would be a commute of only 15-20 minutes.  Working remotely would be something I could do.

The company would have 100 people or less, be privately owned, with family values, and $10-50 million in sales.  Faith would be a part of the culture.

Our purpose for existing would be to do some good.  I really crave this.  I want work that is meaningful, purposeful, yet profitable.  I would like to be in a place where I am compensated fairly but where I could pull in a really good income if I applied myself.

Travel would be okay as long as there would be enough recovery time at home.  Having time off without sacrificing pay would be understood and granted.

The people I would work with in this ideal setting would be understanding, patient, dynamic, helpful, and well-spoken.  God's Name would only be used appropriately.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Thoughts on Ted Williams : A Golden Voice


Many of you saw the YouTube video of Ted Williams and were captivated by his story as I was.  We saw him on the corner with a sign, asking for money.  Then he opened his mouth and … wow … what a voice.  I was glad for him.  Being discovered and getting work.  So when I saw his book at Barnes and Noble I knew I had to read it.  I went home and placed the book on hold with my local library.

The beginning of the book goes through his life fairly fast.  There are a number of difficulties but nothing insurmountable.  Very early on, he knew he wanted to be on radio with a large audience.  In young adulthood, he realized that dream.  He was on the air, he was meeting people, he was pulling in a nice income.  Then one night, he smoked a marijuana joint which someone had laced with crack cocaine.  He wanted more and quickly went downhill.  The short high was something he had to have it all the time.

In the majority of the book, Williams describes how he breaks hearts, becomes homeless, commits crimes, and steals, steals, steals.  Even after having children, he can not bring himself to mature and take responsibility.

I have to admit that I like a good biography.  I like to read how someone had determination to go somewhere, and little else, yet made it.  Stories like that inspire me as they give me hope.  After reading "A Golden Voice", I am not sure this was one of those books.

I have mixed feelings.  On one had, I am glad for him.  He was discovered (again) and given fame (again) and jobs (again).  I was naive to believe that was what he wanted.

See, it doesn't seem like that was what he wanted.  All he wanted was to smoke crack.  Numerous times in the book he is given help to get himself cleaned up and back on his feet.  But he can't stay with it.  He also is steeling all the time in order to find a dealer to get his puff.

It is difficult to not despise people like Williams.  He has six kids with several women and he gives very little support to any of them.  He is a thief, taking from businesses, friends, and family.  He refuses help offered to him.

In many ways, our cities are in the shape they are in because of people like Williams.  Businesses will not stay around because people take from them all the time.  Neighborhoods are run down because no one is doing any work to fix and clean them.  Families are in poverty because no one is supporting them.  Prostitutes are on the streets because their boyfriends push them out the door to make a few dollars to buy them drugs.

I hope this man is clean of drugs today, doing voice work, and making a contribution.  He has been given a gift that he needs to use.  I hope he uses his gift to benefit others.  I wish you well, Ted Williams, but it is a struggle to love you.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Good input


I firmly believe that if you put good things into your mind and soul it will result in good actions and a successful life.  It has been said, garbage in garbage out.  That is true but let's focus on the good and forget about the garbage.

I try to read blogs everyday that will give me direction and hope.  Blogs from authors like Dan Miller, Seth Godin, and Scott Wimberly.  I read my Bible and devotional (Great Is Thy Faithfulness by Larry Burkett and Our Daily Bread) daily to remind me of God's faithful and constant love.  I listen to upbeat music that contains truth and meets me on a deeper level, washing my soul.  It is important to me to have the right things coming into my ears and eyes.  In a sense, I am making my life an experiment.  As I age, I am applying a thicker filter on what I allow into my life as there is less time and so much good material.  So I stay away from books, movies, and people who use bad language.  I say "no" to the horror movies and violent films.  Fiction is almost always disappointing, so I have set that aside for the most part.  Instead, I watch movies with a redeeming story line.  I read non-fiction and biographies that give me hope because someone else has overcome obstacles and made it.

I would encourage you to be careful on what you allow into your life.  The music, videos and books you consume will affect your beliefs, your actions, and ultimately your legacy.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Finding my genius


My goal is to find my genius.  I want to be in the place where I am using my strengths and talents that have been given to me.  Only then will I be at the top, on my platform, in the zone, achieving, giving, and growing like I would like to.  When this is happening I expect to have more energy, increasing joy, and terrific results.

I know I have something unique to offer.  There is some reason that I have had the experiences that I have had.  I am on the earth for this time due to intelligent design.

My job is to find that genius and where I can apply it.  I want to win.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The trucks in Courageous


I had the privilege of watching the film Courageous again not too many weekends ago.  There are four police officers featured in the movie.  Being on the police force is not the best way make money.  It truly is a service to the community.  In fact, part of the dialogue had a character relate that they were making in the mid-30's per year.  Yet, at least two of the characters were driving late model pick-up trucks.  I have looked up a 2011 Ford F150 and it was about in the mid-20's MSRP.  Today, some of Ford's trucks are in the high 30's.  Now, nothing was made of the wives income.  So as a viewer I am lead to believe that these guys were making payments.  How else could their income and their truck be reconciled?  This is a film made by a church in Georgia so it surprises me when an unrealistic lifestyle is presented.  I would like to see more reasonable choices made by the characters in the Sherwood Pictures films.  As it is, it seems like the people in their films buy full retail and live beyond their means.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Your rod and Your staff


Lord, I know that Your rod and Your staff are suppose to comfort me but right now they are smarting pretty badly.  Can You lead me some other way?  Perhaps a way that a bit less painful?

Monday, October 22, 2012

I just talked with her


I learned a couple of Friday's ago that someone from one of my networking groups had passed away suddenly.  What amazed me was that we had just talked not a week before.  She appeared healthy and well as though she had quite a few years in front of her.  We talked for 20 minutes or so at the bus stop and we chatted on our ride down to a nearby university.  She was working toward her next opportunity and was hopeful about her future.  When I learned her age, I was surprised because she didn't look it.  In fact, someone had guessed her to be about forty-eight.  I would not have put her in her early sixties as her obituary said.

Since learning of her death, I have lifted up her family in prayer.  I was gladdened to see that her obituary stated she had went to heaven and was enjoying everlasting life.

I was waiting for that check in my spirit.  Like God saying to me that I could have done more or I should have said more.  That feeling never came.  Maybe what I said to her was all that was needed.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Shark Tank needs some turn over


I think it is time for ABCs Shark Tank to have some turn-over.

I have been watching the show since last season but it is now in its forth year.  The person I would most like to see move on is Kevin O'Leary.  He rarely invests in a start-up and has a lot of negative things to say to people.  He belittles their idea and insults them on national television.  I don't see any need for that.  In the past, I thought there was a need for Kevin because people need to hear the truth sometimes.  But now, he has become cruel.  He needs to go.

Kevin has served his term.  If these ideas are so bad and these people so inept, maybe he needs to leave the show and apply his expertise elsewhere.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Idea for new blog


My goal for next year is to start a new blog.  I would like it to be on some topic that I could focus on and build my platform from it.  This topic would need to be something that I have passion for.  It would also need to have some level of depth to it where I would not exhaust it too quickly.  I would want to write 2 or 3 entries per week.  It would need to be an area that is not already blogged to death, like money and finances.  The name of the blog would need to be short and clear.

This may not be that idea but let me share it with you.  The topic would be "signs".  In Wisconsin, we are sign happy.  There are so many road signs in this state telling you what to do and where to go.  There is more information on the side of the road than you would ever want to know.  I see this over use of signs as a problem.  It wastes resources and is quite annoying.  People assume that if there is a sign, people will do what is says but the truth is the sign does not always mean compliance.  I could take pictures of silly, stupid, and redundant signs and then post my comments.  I would, in essence, be informing the public and giving feedback to the DOT.

I don't know if I will actually do this but it was an idea I had last week.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Am I overlooking something?


This past week I came home with not much time to spare before dark but I wanted to get a few things done outside.  We have been replacing the rock around the base of our house with cedar bark.  My wife and a family friend had removed most of the rock during the day when I was gone.  I was heartened by this and wanted to continue the project.  After quickly having some dinner and changing clothes, I got outside to do a little work.  It was so enjoyable shoveling, smoothing, and removing dirt and some leftover rock.  The area was prepped and I felt like I had accomplished something.  It was satisfying to see the change and just knowing I had done something for our house.

After this I went inside and worked in the kitchen for a while.  I put away dishes and did some general organizing.  It too felt very good to do something for myself.  The work did not take much thinking but was more of a task and there was a peace that came with that.  It was easy yet fulfilling.

When I get this relaxing, satisfying feeling from work, it makes me wonder.  I wonder if I am overlooking something.  Is this the work I am suppose to be doing with my life?  Am I getting this level enjoyment with other work I am doing?  How could I do work similar to this, get that same level of satisfaction, and receive the pay I would like?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

People behave differently when they want something


When I was in college, I took a Business Calculus class.  It was the highest math class I have taken and believe me, it was far as I cared to go.  I tracked with the professor and felt like I was getting it.  We had a small study group with a mix of men and women.  As I expressed myself to the group I must have came across like I knew what I was doing.  It was interesting how people responded to that.  There were two attractive girls in the group who suddenly had a warmth toward me.  They would sit close to me and would brush up against me.  They knew how to turn on the charm.

It is interesting how people can turn it on and turn it off.  People behave differently when they want something.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Running in the afternoon


This past week I got back into a work routine.  That meant that it was a bit of a stretch to get up early enough for a morning run.  So I adjusted and ran my 2.5 miles in the afternoon.  I found that this actually worked out just fine.  First, there is still light when I get home so I was able to see, and just as importantly, others could see me.  Secondly, the temp in the afternoon and early evening was comfortable whereas the early mornings are cold.

I know a lot of people advocate exercising first thing in the morning.  There is a lot of merit to it and I think their arguments are strong.  However, right now that doesn't work for me.  But I would like others to know that shortly after work is not a bad time to get outside and get some activity.  Especially in early October.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Having bad dreams? Here is what helps me.


I have read that over 70% of reported night time dreams are of the nightmare sort.  That is, they are frightening, scary, or dark in nature.  That is a lot of negative angst that must disturb people and cut into the quality of their lives.  The following is what has helped me with creating better dreams.

Movies - I do not like terror movies.  Watching them has never made a positive difference in my life.  I can remember movies quite well and if I watch a violent film, it will stick with me as I go to bed.  Instead, I carefully screen what I allow to go into my eyeballs.  I try to watch movies and shows with a redemptive quality to them.  Or I just turn the television off and find something better to do.

Books - The books I read are usually of the non-fiction variety.  I try to stay away from fiction because of the language, ridiculous story lines, and violence.  Find a good self-help or biography to read before going to bed.  Fill your mind with hope and stories of people who have made it.

Pray - I saw a prayer before going to sleep at night.  Prayer is just talking to God.  It is how we know we have a relationship with Him.  He wants the best for us and so I share my heart with Him.

Scripture - I like to read the truth.  I find soul feeding truth in the Bible.  After reading it, I try to repeat meaningful portions to myself that will help me keep the right frame of mind.

Relax - It is important to exercise, breath, and relax.  Trust that God will work it out.  All you can affect is today.

I think it is possible to lessen the amount of frightening dreams at night.  Follow the above ideas and see what happens.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

NFL: drop the pink


Here we go again with breast cancer awareness and the NFL.  Don't get me wrong.  Of course I don't want anyone to have breast cancer or any type of cancer.  But guys, pink is not the color of the NFL.  It clashes with the team colors and looks forced.  My advise would be to have one weekend in October dedicated to breast cancer awareness.  Put up some signs and donate some money but leave it at that.  No pink hats, arm bands, or shoes.  As it is, the whole thing looks patronizing and clunky.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The messages no one wants to hear


It is sadly ironic that the messages people need to hear are not the messages people want to hear.  My pastor is going through Amos (a small book of the Old Testament) and it isn't a happy, rosy section of scripture.  Yet, it is exactly what people need to know these days.  If you haven't noticed, we are not living in the most spiritual time.  Our nation does not seem to be especially warm toward the Lord.  The truth is they need to hear that God is just and He will punish sin.  He loves us enough to warn us though and these messages of warnings are exactly the ones people should be aware of so they can have a change of heart.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Freeing up time by deleting a podcast


One of my favorite podcasts came to an end this past week.  The hosts said that they were discontinuing the show.  I was a little sad but I listened with interest to their wrap-up as they described future projects.  They had outgrown the show and needed to cut something from their schedules to free up time for something better.  I totally understand that.  When they said that this was their last episode, I actually felt relief, as I was debating within myself if this podcast was still a good use of my time.  Now, I can quit listening without feeling guilty or like I was abandoning good advice.  I went ahead and deleted another unrelated podcast too while I was at it.  It felt good because I was on the fence about that one too.  It was like I was taking control over my schedule and my choices.  As these two say good-bye to their audience to open up time for other things, it affords the audience the very same thing.

What can you delete from your life that will free up time for something better?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Drinking more water


Not too long ago I was challenged to drink 2 liters of water a day.  Since then, I have come close to meeting this goal.  So far, it has been a positive experience.  Yes, I have to "go" more often and yes it is paler in color, if you must know.  I actually find that I am craving water even though I am drinking so much of it.  Maybe I am detoxing or maybe my body is saying it is liking the additional water.  I always thought that I did okay on my level of water intake.  However, I don't think I was drinking enough of it.  If you are not drinking 2 liters of pure water everyday, I challenge you to get a 1 liter container and fill it up twice a day.  Drink the water over the course of the day and see if you are feeling better.  Water is so pure, light, and refreshing.  Your body will reward you in surprising ways.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Let's go somewhere


I like being included and invited to go somewhere.  I like to take trips and travel.  There is a joy in my heart when I gather needed supplies for the road.  Viewing the scenery as it unfolds before me causes me to grow in understanding and awareness.  Getting there is half the happiness.  Experiencing the destination becomes a part of my memory and a part of who I am.  The drive home, exhausted and stretched, is a time for reflection and retelling of experiences.  Arriving home to unpack and put things away is sad but satisfying.  It is a successful trip if I come back in one piece, having learned something, and made a new connection.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Equal footing


I believe that we are all on equal footing.  It doesn't matter to me if you are twenty years older or twenty years younger than I am.  I don't care if you have a net worth of 2 million dollars or are heavily in debt.  I don't believe it matters if you are female.  Your education makes you interesting but not inherently better.  I believe we are all on level ground.

It serves no purpose for you to lord it over me because of your position, your wealth, or your degree.  Let's start off on equal footing, cooperate, talk, and work together.  I will not be made to believe that I am less than you.  I am not.  There is something in my life that is better than yours but I will not show it off and make you feel small.  We both have one life and down deep we are two souls walking this earth in the present.  Talk to me and I will talk to you.

Have you been talking down to who are your equal?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Christianity solves…animosity between peoples


There are many issues that Christianity solves if people will embrace the principles found in the Bible.  One of many issues of our world that Christianity solves is animosity between peoples.

We are told in scripture that mankind was created in the image of God.  Everyone of us that walks this earth has a touch of the Creator in us.  We are all alike in that we are formed from dust but have an eternal soul.  Adam and Eve are everyones original parents.  Noah and his wife are also common ancestors.

The Lord tells us again and again to love our neighbor as ourselves.  We are to bless others and not to curse them.  We are to show kindness and patience with others no matter their language, nationality or faith.

In the end, we all have a soul and everyone has value.  No one is junk.  Everyone has a purpose here.  There maybe cultural differences but those should stir a curiosity in us and cause us to investigate.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sharpening the saw


As I was talking with someone new last week, the question came up of what I had been doing lately with my time off.  Without even thinking, I said that I was taking time to "sharpen the saw".  He immediately got that expression as a Stephen Covey principle.  I liked how the answer just spilled out of me.

It's the truth too.  I am not doing nothing.  I am updating my resume, networking brief, and LinkedIn profile.  I have selected business cards and I hand them out regularly.  I have spent time with family.  I have traveled to a conference on being better than average.  I have met new people through several career networking groups.  I have added a regular exercise routine to my schedule.  I have explored business ownership and self-employment.  Books and blogs are being read.

When I say that I am "sharpening the saw", that is, investing in myself, growing, and doing what I can to make myself better, I think I am being truthful and accurate.

What have you done lately to "sharpen the saw"?

Monday, October 1, 2012

People that are offended by me


Occasionally, I will run into some criticism and dislike for just being me.  I am okay with that.  A man with convictions will eventually find someone who does not share his core beliefs.  They will take my convictions as an excuse to take offense.  It is all part of living a life of consequence.