Saturday, April 30, 2005

Arrrrggghhh!!!

"There must be something I can do". "Why do they get all the lucky breaks"? "The rich just keep getting richer". "It's just not fair". Each of these sentences are a symptom of frustration. Chances are you have heard someone utter one or more of these sentences. That someone may have even been the person reading this blog entry. If so, that's okay you are normal. Breaking the habit of saying things that add to your frustration is a great place to start.

Success can seem so close that it becomes almost tangible. You try to grab it, you make your move, almost, almost, then...nothing. Arrrrggghhh!You know success is possible, because other people are successful. Stop. Change that. If you really want success to be tangible, you must stop thinking of it as something that happens to other people. Success does not just happen to people - people create success. You can choose to be one of those people.

Frustration is normal. Frustration can be harmful or helpful. It is harmful when it hinders your progress, when it causes ulcers, and when it erodes your relationships. Frustration is helpful when it propels you to take action. Frustration is not possible without at least a seed of belief in the possibility that something can be done.

If you are frustrated, ask yourself why. Remember, it's not whether or not you are frustrated, it's how you handle the frustration - and that is up to you.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Why Believe?

If you do not believe, the hurdles you face will be insurmountable. Without belief there is no persistence. Without belief there is no discipline. Without belief there is no motivation. You must believe that you can succeed, or will not do everything that you can to succeed. Having belief or no belief is like the difference between having oxygen and not having oxygen.

Wishing, wanting, hoping, dreaming, and needing, are not belief. Knowing, confidence, faith, trust, and conviction are all forms of belief. Doubting and second-guessing straddle the line between belief and disbelief. Having belief will allow you to step over to the right side of that line.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Empty Potential

People often do not live up to their full potential

Why? Because people don’t grasp their full potential. It is an unknown. When people start to get an inkling of their full potential, they get excited. It becomes a smoldering ember ready to ignite their success.

The other reason is comprised of almost equal parts of laziness, apathy, and complacency. If any of these three things are standing in the way of your success, get rid of them, pronto. Let’s take a brief look at them.

Laziness is when they know what they should do, or have to do, and decide it’s just too hard. Their tired, had a hard day, car won’t run, dog is sick, their favorite television show is on, and so on. These all may be true, but they are still excuses - excuses of laziness.

Apathy is not caring enough to even make an excuse. With laziness at least they know they could be doing something else. With apathy they really could not care less, it is like a vacuum cleaner just sucked out all their desire.

The last one is complacency. The dreaded ‘comfort zone’. No one ever gets ahead by operating at their current level. They don’t even break even, because progress is happening all around them. Comfort never stops progress.

I know I have not yet achieved my full potential. I am excited about where I'm going, and have a firm idea of where that is. My full potential awaits - and you?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Good News - #12

Hooray! Three months of Good News and counting. Use these stories anytime to counter any claims of there being nothing but bad news. (Due to the dynamic nature of news I do not know how long any of the links will remain active).

The peace process between two nuclear powers can sometimes be described as tentative at best. Other times it can create dangerous tensions. This week, however, brings news about what India and Pakistan are calling an 'irreversible peace'. The article covers several aspects of how this peace has come about. It is quite inspiring, and gives hope to anyone interested in peace.

This probably will not come as shock to those of us who are positive thinkers, but it is always welcome news to have science back up the claim that happier people are healthier people. It's a very quick read that covers the bsics - short and sweet.

The end of the U.S. school year will soon be here. And just as soon, there will also be jokes going around about college graduates with doctorates getting jobs flipping fast food hamburgers. This promising report shows a growing trend for employment after graduation. Still, the jokes may be as funny, but they will have a lot less sting, and that qualifies as good news for the educated.

What will the next week bring? The next three months? I don't know, but you can bet it is going to be Good News.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The One Thing

Here are a few thoughts on the key element of success. An attempt was made to arrange them in a logical manner, with the final statement creating a circle of thought.

1. People often do not live up to their full potential.

2. People get frustrated, because success seems so close, yet elusive.

3. People also tend to think that just one thing, or just one lucky break stand between them and the success they desire.

4. If people only knew what this one thing was, they could use it to the advantage of their success.

5. Some people think they know what this one thing is, yet do not use it to their advantage.

6. Some people have identified that one thing, implemented it, and became successful.

7. That one thing is not the same for everybody.

I have my opinion on what that one thing is. Somebody else may have a differing opinion. So, what do you think that one thing is?

Friday, April 22, 2005

Communication Breakdown?

There are times when people unintentionally use the wrong words. There are times when they use the right words, too. Now, there are people who use every opportunity to correct other people's speech. This includes grammar (for anyone who reads the comments, this is where I misspelled grammar as 'graamar'), pronunciation, and word choice. Here are a few of my thoughts...

Whenever someone is talking, the purpose is to communicate something. Period. So, when someone misuses a word, or uses improper grammar, I try not to correct them if they are getting their point across. If, however, what they are saying is unclear, I try to politely ask for clarification. Sometimes this leads to them asking about their own misuse of speech. It is only at that point that I will correct someone, with one exception...

When I am around someone who constantly corrects others' speech, I have a tendency to want to correct the person doing the correcting. I try to do this by saying something to the person being corrected. Something to the effect of, "That's okay, I knew what you meant, and that is what counts". The main reason I do this is to make the correctee(?) feel more at ease. The secondary reason is to gently remind the corrector what the point of speech is.

Of course, there are exceptions to this too. Maybe the person doing the correcting has knowledge of what the other person is talking about, and has to correct them to make sure the point is clear. Then I think it is okay. There are also times in a professional setting when someone who continually makes errors in their speech needs to be corrected. That is also okay.

After saying all that, I have to add that I kind of like being corrected. It helps me communicate better. Sometimes I realize my mistake right away, and correct myself. Sometimes I accept the correction without question. Other times, a correction causes me to investigate further, once again helping me improve my speech.

I will be the first to admit that there are probably several glaring grammatical errors in the above paragraphs. If there are, I apologize, and please let me know. Hopefully I was able to communicate my thoughts...Well?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Good News - #11

Once again trying to dispel the myth that only bad news gets reported. I do think it is important to know what is going on the world - good and bad. After all, if you do not know about any of the bad stuff, you really can't do anything to improve it. On the other hand I think it is important to give good news its own spotlight. So, here we go with a few more. (Due to the dynamic nature of news I do not know how long any of the links will remain active).

Oxford University recently announced it has discovered a new way of looking at previously unreadable ancient texts. I think at first glance this story may appeal mostly to history and literature buffs. Over time, I have a feeling it will enlighten many, many more.

The fact that Operation FALCON made more than 10,000 arrests over the course of one week will have more far reaching positive effects than just the short term. First it gets criminals off of the streets, and second it sends a message to those criminals who are still out there.

Finders' keepers? No, not this time. This time it was "finder returns to rightful owner". Read about the Utah man who found $10,000. The how and why of it make it a great story.

Please remember, that is only three of the many upbeat and positive stories that are out there. Whew! I'm already looking forward to the upcoming week and the Good News I'll find.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Quick Thought

Desire alone never replaces the actions needed to achieve that desire.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Two Goofy "Star Wars" Jokes

The premier of the Star Wars movie "Revenge of the Sith" is set for May 19th, so here are two "jokes" I made up (I think I did anyway) yesterday.

What is the favorite pasta dish for a Star Wars bounty hunter?

Boba Fett-ucine


What is the name of the invisible droid in Star Wars?

C-Thru-PO


Got one or two you would like to share? If I think of more I'll add them to the comments. May the jokes be with you.

Monday, April 11, 2005

A Great Example

I was leaving a cookout with friends on Saturday afternoon. My wife and were dropping off our little one at my sister-in-law's house, which was some distance away. Oh sure, I thought I knew the way form the cookout, which was in a rural location. No need for me to ask directions from anyone at the cookout.

After a short while of enjoying a scenic backroads drive I realized we were very low on gas. D'oh! I thought to myself, "No problem. I'm sure if I keep going on the same road, I'll end up by a gas station." Good theory. We were lucky enough to see some town's watertower not too far off. I headed for it, trying not to let it out of my view. We were at a gas station within a few moments with gas to spare. Woo hoo!

I pulled up to the pump and noticed it was an old-fashioned model, no credit cards taken at this pump. That was okay though, because I was planning on paying in cash. Luckily a gentleman was putting gas in his car at the next pump over. He saw what I was doing and said, "I don't think those are on, this pump is converted to accept credit cards, the rest are cash only." To which I asked "Oh? Are they closed?" He said "Yep".

Here was my situation.

1. I was kind of lost.

2. I was running out of gas.

3. I did not have a way to pay for it at this gas station.

4. There was no other gas station on sight.

So, I did something with which I have struggled many times - I asked for directions to the next nearest gas station. Now we're getting to the good part.

I asked the guy for directions, which he happily gave. Two things became quickly obvious, however. First, he was from around 'here'. Second, I was not from around 'here'. Once he realized this he said, "You know, I'm finished here. If you would like you can just follow me". I gave him a big smile, and told him that would be great.

Now, not only did he lead the way, he also asked where I was heading, and gave me easy directions on how to get there. He came across as a very likeable person. In fact I don't know who was made happier by this chance encounter. If you ask me, that was a great example of how people should, and do, treat each other.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Good News - #10

Wow! Ten weeks of the Good News. I consider it an antidote not only to the plethora of bad news, but also an antidote to those who grumble about it. It's great to have a few positive news stories to share with other people when a conversation turns to current events. (Due to the dynamic nature of news I do not know how long any of the links will remain active).

Collisions between motorists and animals can range from the nearly inconsequntial bug on the windshield to a tragic loss of life on both sides. Most solutions to date have been decidely low-tech, such as creating underpasses for the animals. The most dangerous of these are collisions with moose, and the moose does not favor the low-tech approach. This article discusses new techniques, both low and high-tech, towards a solution.

A new chemical becoming available to food scientists promises to reduce the bad stuff in our food.

Ideas for alternative energy have been around for many decades. The reason these ideas found it difficult to be embraced by the mainstream had a lot to with money. Now, according to this USA Today article, investors are embracing alternative energy, and with good reason.

That's all for this week, what a great way to wrap up week number ten. Here's looking forward to the next ten.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Quick Thought

Success and procrastination are both subject to the laws of inertia.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

How Am I GOING TO LOSE 20 POUNDS First? - Another Update

Here is another update for those of you who are keeping track of, and helping me win, the weight loss contest.

I'm still referring to the other people by first initial. So far...

Mr. S. has lost 7 pounds
Mrs. W. will not say how much she has lost, but has said she's about where she started.
I have now lost 7 pounds

I'm starting to catch up, even though I started four days later than the other two. I am more than a third of the way there. I am really feeling better, and am convinced I will win.

If any of you have any more weight loss tips, please send them along. They really help, and I appreciate every one of them. Thanks again and keep 'em coming.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Good News - #9

This week's Good News stories have the common theme of cooperation of one kind or another. In my opinion, cooperation is a form of inter-personal phenomenon that removes suspicion and distrust. (Due to the dynamic nature of news I do not know how long any of the links will remain active).

The United States enjoys some of the lowest gasoline prices in the world, yet its dependence on foreign oil may soon become a nightmare. This, according to the headline, has created An Unlikely Meeting Of the Minds. That is to say environmentalists and republicans are finding common ground .

In the volatile politics of the middle east it is wonderful news to hear that Israelis currently have two Arab heroes. This story shows how cooperation toward a common goal can create feelings of goodwill.

There are approximately 3,500 non-functioning oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Now the federal government is looking at converting these oil platforms into fish farms. This is not a problem free prospect, but I think it is a move in the right direction.

Yes, cooperation can take many forms, and when this cooperation is for something good it can have a reach beyond its grasp.