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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Sometimes we get lost…

in the daily routines of life
in the desire to make something of our lives
doing what we love to do
doing what we loath to do
in times of trouble
in the depths of fear and uncertainty
with joy of what we’ve accomplished
with who we’ve become
with what we can do

Sometimes we forget to step away from ourselves and examine ourselves as we examine a painting on the wall of a fine art gallery. You see, the Father is the painter and each of us are His greatest work.

I believe that when this life is done, we will stand with Him in that great gallery of humanity and gaze upon the paintings of our lives and just stand there awestruck by what He HAS done!

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Is God an Alien?

Once you accept the notion that there is indeed a God, do you ever think about Who is God? Where did he come from? What is his history? How did he come to be?

To be honest, I don’t dwell on those questions, but every now and then I have an interesting conversation with people. Just the other night I got into a discussion about Aliens with a fella and I said "Well, you know there’s no doubt in my mind that Aliens exist!"

The fella I was talking to look dumbfounded and said "really, how’s that?" To which I replied "Well, if you believe in God then by the definition of an alien, GOD IS AN ALIEN."

Is God human? I don’t think so. So, he has to be an Alien, not human.

Judo-Christians believe God made Adam in his image. But God did not father Adam biologically or clone him, else we would be demi-gods. And the last time I checked, I have no God-like powers.

So there you go…

Does it matter if God is an alien? Does it diminish the releationship we have with Him? Does not knowing more about God’s history matter?

It seems that Humans are in constant search mode for understanding of who they are (right now), where they came from, and where they are going.

Since having my daughter six years ago I have come to a realization that I don’t care as much about the future and wanting the future to get here and trying to make my future what I see in my mind’s eye.

I’ve realized that this moment with my wife and little girl is what matters. What we have today is precious. The moments of love, laughter and adventure that we share together is what we take with us into the future and into the great unknown – into tomorrow!

Tomorrow is an ubiquitous egnima that frustrates us all. Sure, we have to work. Sure we have to plan and save for tomorrow. Like the big questions of life, I don’t think it matters what tomorrow will be just as it doesn’t matter that God is an Alien…

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Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

If you wake up and don’t want to smile,
If it takes just a little while,
Open your eyes and look at the day,
You’ll see things in a different way.

Don’t stop, thinking about tomorrow,

Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here,
It’ll be, better than before,
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.

Why not think about times to come,
And not about the things that you’ve done,
If your life was bad to you,
Just think what tomorrow will do.

Don’t stop, thinking about tomorrow,
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here,
It’ll be, better than before,
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.

All I want is to see you smile,
If it takes just a little while,
I know you don’t believe that it’s true,
I never meant any harm to you.

Don’t stop, thinking about tomorrow,
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here,
It’ll be, better than before,

Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.

Don’t you look back,
Don’t you look back.

-Christine McVie

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