Why are you sitting in Shit?

A conversation sparked the thought that as humans we tend to adapt to our environment and learn to live there.

People adapt to living in poverty. Seemingly they see no path out of poverty. Their entire view on life tells them that they have no options – that someone is keeping them in poverty – that someone or some group is “taking” what is theirs.

People adapt to working in a company and at a job that they really don’t enjoy. They grow comfortable with their salary, even if there salary isn’t what they want. The grow comfortable in knowing how to deal with the dysfunctional processes they have to work within. They blame management for keeping them down, for not seeing their potential, for not promoting them to a better job. They blame anyone except themselves for their position.

People adapt to their communities, to their political environment, to their leaders. They accept that they cannot change the world around them. They accept that there are no good leaders to rally behind. They accept what it is is what it is.

You see, these are just a few examples of the great adaptability of the human species.

We tell ourselves that our lot in life isn’t our fought – someone is taking our part of the pie. We tell ourselves that we can’t make our job better – the boss is the problem, the system is the problem. We tell ourselves that politicians are the problem – they lie to us and are beholden to the money people.

We tell ourselves anything but the truth.

Sure, there are many things in this world that a single individual cannot fix. There are many things in our life that in the past we didn’t have a good solution or option – so “we had to take what life gave us.”

Yes, we have real excuses for where we are right now – a bag full of excuses that we can feel comfortable with – that we can carry around on our back and live with.

Why are you living and sitting in shit?

The world will tell you that YOU HAVE NO CONTROL of your life. That your destiny is written by someone else. That your lot in life is un-changeable. That you job and the company you work for cannot be changed. That YOUR LEADERS cannot be good and beholden to the electorate (you!)

The world tells you this everyday. The world wants you to stay comfortable in the shit you abide by.

But the truth is that the naysayers out there in the world are FULL OF SHIT. And if you accept what they believe, you are the only one to blame.

So, get out of the shitty rut you find yourself in and start doing one good thing at a time and keeping doing good things until all you have is good around you and do not be weary in doing good, for in due season you shall reap good – if you don’t faint.

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Growing, Growing…

Those darn kids. They grow so fast.

My little girl’s been playing the piano for three years now and she loves to sing and so does her mamma.

We took time over Christmas to record and then film this music video. It is actually Ellie-Jane’s first music video and I’m happy to say she did very good at taking direction from daddah.

Her mamma… well, that’s another story.

Hope you enjoy the video…

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Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnlsxmikiNY

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A Free Business Lesson in 42 Pages

How often does the opportunity come along to learn so much with such little effort?

If I told you that you could gain years of insight and more importantly incredible ideas by reading 42 pages of text – just an hour or so of reading?

Well, what if someone much more successful in the realm of business than I said these 42 pages where the best of Warren Buffett’s career? Don’t take my word on this.

image Bill Gates noted on his blog that of Warren’s 50 annual letters, this year’s is Warren’s best ever. I thought to myself that if Bill spent time to read all 50 and then said this was the best of them all, I’d spend a little time to see what the fuss was all about.

In 42 pages of reading you will get insight into Buffett’s system that has produced one of America’s best business success stories.

If you are so inclined, the 42 pages will also cause you to have more questions that you’ll have to go get answers to, which is a big bonus in itself.

image Take the time to read these 42 pages and really understand the numbers. The thing I find really interesting is that if you look beyond the economic results of Berkshire Hathaway (investor return), how much positive impact has Berkshire Hathaway and Warren’s management system had on the employees and companies that BH/Buffet have influenced?

No one is perfect. However, I believe Buffet’s tenure shows us that a business can be directed by values that when put into practice can create wealth and stability that extend to a great many people and for a great period of time.

Here’s the link to the 42 page letter – http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/2014ltr.pdf

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The Things They Don’t Tell You…

From time to time, if you’re lucky, you get to realize a “fond memory” being made as it is being made. Not very often do we get to write it down when it still is so fresh in our mind. So, I’m feeling pretty damn lucky right now and decided to put it to paper.

My little girl is growing so fast these days. In her routine of life, she’s slowing getting a little taller each day and her mind is exploring the world in such a fast pace. imageBeing close to Valentines day, she has a school project to transform a measly old shoe box into a grand Valentine’s receptacle where her class mates will share their good will and candy! She said to me “Dad, since you’re the only “real” artist in the house, can you help me decorate this, as she pointed to the future Valentine castle. I said, sure, let’s do it!

Later that night after she was securely tucked away into night’s dreamland, he mother said to me, “you know Ellie-Jane is starting to take a liking to boys.” I said with a smirk, “Really, where’s my gun, I need names?” As if she didn’t hear me, my wife went on to say “EJ really makes me smile as she said to me ‘mom, you know, I don’t think I’m ever going to find a real good boyfriend.’ Why’s that? ‘Well, I don’t think I’m going to find someone as good as dad.’ What do you mean? ‘Well, you know Dad’s so funny?’”

We laughed and talked and realized that our little girl is growing up way too fast. The whole conversation made me think that even little girls don’t tell you everything or is it we just don’t ask?

It’s pretty cool to hear it now and then to realize that these are the moments in life we live for, that we will remember.

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Is It Already Time For Those Damn New Year’s Resolutions (NYR)?

I hate those damn NYR’s… They absolutely make me sick.

As I go through the middle life years, I find myself stuck. Stuck in comfortable routines, stuck on "being" tired, stuck on "trying to do the next big thing", stuck on "trying to make a mark in life", stuck "trying to get a better and higher paying job", stuck where I’ve been for the past few years!

Depressing? Yea, a little. It seems that once we achieve a comfortable point in our life, we often find a way to stay stuck there or in my case lost there. Face it, being comfortable is nice! :-) Getting your career to a certain point where you make good money is nice! Having the comforts of life is nice! Spending time with your family and friends is nice! Going on vacation is nice! Working a reasonable amount of time per week is nice! Saving money for retirement is nice!

I wonder if people in other parts of the world live in fear of loosing their comforts? For those who have comforts I’m sure they do have "levels" of fear of loosing their comforts. Or maybe I just think too much about it all. Maybe having a healthy fear of loosing the comfort you’ve earned is good. Maybe it’s the thing that keeps us motivated to move forward?

Too Introspective? I’m never really satisfied with what I’m doing or how I’m doing it. I look at the size of my belly and it drives me nuts that I’m not really getting to where I want to be and loosing the weight. I look at my job and I’m never really satisfied with what I’m doing or how I’m doing it. I look at my filmmaking efforts and I’m never really… you know the story.

Which brings me to the end of the year and the thought of doing the same damn things over and over in 2015.

I know that if I really dislike something "I’m doing" that "I’m the only person who can do something about it." The problem is I hate the fact that I know what I should be doing, yet, lack the fortitude to make the changes necessary to excel and move to where I "want to be" in my mind.

I guess we all suffer from these delusions to some degree? Maybe it is the Ultimate Irony of Humanity that on one hand we want to stay where we are – comfortable. Yet on the other hand we fear that being comfortable will lead to our eventual demise.

Which brings me to the end of this year and the prospects of making some more NYR’s that I know I will start with the best of intentions, yet somehow fall off the wagon and end up being another failed set of expectations!!! ;-) when I don’t keep those resolutions or don’t live up to them.

You know what, screw it. I’m not going to make any NYRs. I’m going to simply just keep my goals in mind and EVERYDAY do something to achieve them. Just like the aliens told Dr. Arroway in Contact "little steps" will get you there just fine. You may not get there in the time-frame you have in mind, but you will eventually get there!

Here’s to a great 2015 with no NYR’s… just a continual improvement at reaching whatever goals we have in our lives and a desire to enjoy the comforts we’ve achieved, yet the desire to not rest on our laurels.

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Owning Your Failures

No one likes to fail. It’s a result we are trained to avoid. It feels like we are tested all the time from an early age and someone, it seems, is there scoring our results.

Seth Godin, marketing guru, wrote in his blog recently:

"You’re Right, We Were Wrong"

by Seth Godin

This is the most difficult sentence for companies that stumble in doing effective customer service.

By effective, I mean customer service that pays for itself, that is a rational expense on the way to building a loyal brand following and generating positive word of mouth.

When someone in your organization says, "You’re right, we were wrong," they’re not saying that you’re always wrong, or that you were completely wrong, or even that, in a court of law with a sympathetic jury, you would lose. It certainly doesn’t mean you didn’t try.

No, all you’re saying is that you made a promise or set an expectation and then failed to live up to it.

Owning that and saying it out loud does two things: it respects the customer and it allows you to make more promises in the future.

If it helps, you can remind yourself that this is investment in your ability to make a promise tomorrow.

This reminded me of a meeting I was in recently at work where I was trying to get a project completed in a short time-frame. I confidently suggest we could complete the project in a month. After some input from the attendees I sat and thought to myself, "you know, they are right, there’s too much red tape to get through and too many people to get buyoff from." I spoke up and said "I’ve thought about this and your right, I’m wrong. It’s not going to happen as fast as I’d hope." The whole meeting took a different tone from then on. People started to talk about how we could get it done faster than they thought, yet not as fast as I wanted. By owning my failed opinion, it gave people permission to look for solutions because they knew even if they came up with bad suggestion, it would be ok because failure of thought wasn’t going to be belittled.

As I go through what they call the "mid-life crisis" over the past few years, I try to take life’s lessons and find a spiritual connection.

For many people in the world they look at God and fear His judgment. I guess from one perspective we are living a test of life and if we pass the test on to heaven, if we fail, on to hell.

I don’t look at judgment day that way.

By owning my failures I am taking ownership of me. At the end of your life, you can either be remembered for your failures or remembered for your successes. I think by owning your failures you will move beyond them and people will see you for what you did right in this world.

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Who do you believe? Is it ever too late?

There is so much information out there in the world. So many people telling you this, telling you that, saying they have the answers because they’ve researched the questions, found data and come to a conclusion.

The problem is that many questions spawn other questions and data is an enigma that give different answers for different questioners.

The world is full of people who tell you what you can’t do. They tell you you’re too old, not enough experience, not smart enough.

The world is full of people who tell themselves that it, whatever their dream is, can’t be done! They accept as truth that they are too old, they accept that they don’t have the experience needed, they accept that they are not smart enough to achieve their dream.

Who should you believe?

I say this today, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Don’t listen to the naysayers. LISTEN TO YOURSELF!!!

How many examples do you need of people who beat "the odds"? How many testimonials do you need to hear from people who have clinched their fist in the air and said "I will be somebody! I will see my dreams come true!" And then they went out and did what they dreamed!

Here’s one more testimonial if that is what you need. There’s data and statistics that show that It is Never Too Late!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tSCdNmd4BM

Go, now, watch this video and listen to this fellow and then listen to yourself – It is never too late to do what you dream!

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