Saturday, May 31, 2008

House Cleaning the Internet

It was December 2003 that I first started writing a blog.

But like many others, I did it so infrequently that I even lost the address and password until my daughter reminded me. But by then, I had started new blogs.

Most of what I wrote was worthless dribble. However, I took a couple of the posts and reposted them here and here.

Then there's what I wrote on Father's day 4 years ago. It will appear on Father's Day this year.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Fixing your Friday Meltdown

I found this on a blog on Monday but decided to wait until the end of the week to post it, since we may need this today, depending on how your week went:

Create a Richer Life in 24 Hours or Less

Posted: 23 May 2008 08:13 PM CDT

Written on 5/23/2008 by David B. Bohl, the author of Slow Down Fast.

The overwhelming majority of people wish for more money. Unfortunately, it seems that the more money we accumulate, the richer we want to become. The way I see it, a wish for material wealth is one that is never really fulfilled.

Thank goodness there are two types of riches or wealth that define our lives: there's being financially rich and there's being life rich -- one doesn't necessarily exclude the other. You can be both at the same time, at different times, or at no time.

While there's nothing wrong with striving to have a larger bank account, it's important to remember that money really can't buy happiness. Just ask Chris Farley or Kurt Cobain about that.

That's why it's so important to strive for having a rich life as opposed to material wealth.

Here's how to make yourself richer in 24 hours or less.
  1. Be thankful for life. Every single one of us takes for granted that when we go to sleep at night, we're going to wake up the next morning. I'm not trying to frighten you, but to make you understand how thankful you should be for every single morning you open your eyes because it's not a guarantee that it'll happen. I know you don't think about it because when you wake up, you've already got a ton of things on your mind.

    Well, stop. Lay in bed for a few seconds and just be thankful that you've got another day because they're so few in number.

  2. Make a new friend. True, it's tougher for adults to make friends than it is for kids. When you were a kid you could easily walk up to whomever had a new toy at the playground and he was instantly your new best friend. However, for adults, friendship too often comes with more strings attached than a marionette show. We tend to see friends as people who can help us achieve something rather than another soul to be enjoyed.

    Well, life is nothing if it isn't about relationships, and friendships are the easiest to come by if you're willing to put forth the effort.

  3. Count your blessings. Okay, I know it's a cliché, but if you truly want a richer life, then you have to be thankful for what you already have. And don't tell me that you have nothing because no one truly has nothing. You can be living on the street with only a garbage bag full of possessions, but as long as you still have breath in your lungs, you have opportunity. The world is filled with examples of people who appeared to have nothing left to live for only to rise up and show everyone what life is all about. Stephen Hawking, anyone?

  4. Try living life instead of surviving it. How many of you feel like you just went 12 rounds with the champ at the end of each week? How many of you really need a weekend on the couch just to store up enough energy for Monday? If this sounds familiar then you're not living life, you're surviving it - and that's no way to live.

    You don't have to fill up your entire day with work to be worth something. I'll tell you right now, for nothing, that you could spend a week earning ten thousand dollars and it wouldn't be worth as much as spending an hour with your kid, your wife, as a Big Brother or Big Sister, or as a volunteer to a family in distress.
Leading a rich life has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of money and stuff you leave behind when you're gone - the universe really doesn't care about that. Rather, it's about the effect you had on those around you. That's what lasts and gets passed on forever.

What little things do you routinely do to make you feel great inside?


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Success & the System

Seth Godin posted this on his blog the other day. It's worthy of reading again:

The spirit of the game

There are two ways to get ahead. You can work the system or you can beat the system.

Beating the system usually involves some sort of subterfuge. Once everyone knows how you beat the system, the system adjusts and changes the rules, making it difficult for you to repeat the feat again. When card counters beat the system in Las Vegas, they weren't breaking the rules, but the system didn't care. They just increased the number of decks in use so it would be more difficult and less lucrative. When athletes beat the system by doping, the system adjusts so it's either a lot more difficult or less of an advantage.

Years ago, leading accounting firms were pitching wealthy prospects the idea of "perfectly legal" tax shelters that would lead to paying zero taxes on investments. You guessed it... the secret leaked out and they were busted.

Working the system is very different. Far from being secret, working the system is public and honored. When Malcolm Gladwell works the system to deliver two stunning bestsellers in a row, booksellers and publishers don't quickly make it more difficult to write books that appeal to a large audience... instead, his competitors work to raise their game and everyone benefits. When Bill Boomer taught the US Olympic team to swim in a very different way, he had nothing to hide, because he was working within the spirit of the game.

The web is nothing but a system, a bunch of (largely unwritten) rules regarding search, linking, promotion, etc. It's fascinating to watch as some people work hard to work the system, and succeed time and time again, while others waste countless hours with one scheme after another designed to beat the system. They invent cloaking devices and seo scams and pyramid schemes and lightly disguised spam pages, constantly struggling to stay ahead (and to stay quiet). Sure, you can beat the system (any system) for a while, but it's a constant struggle.

In Ultimate Frisbee, there are no referees. The system insists that you make your own calls... players closest to the play call it, with no real appeals. The goal: play in the spirit of the game. If you keep working to beat the system, you'll end up with no one to play with. Work the system, and you'll win now and later.

Free Computer Helpers

These are from Kim Komando's newsletter yesterday. You can subscribe by clicking on the link on the right side of this page.

Seven geeky freebies (Click here)
Windows includes plenty of great tools. But, sometimes, you need third-party software. You can shell out your hard-earned cash. Or, you can find free software. To learn about some of my favorite free tools, read my recent column.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ranting and Raving

First The Rant:

Yesterday, while I was attending the event at the Coliseum, I got hit in the face with a beach ball.

(For some reason, throwing beach balls is a common activity at motivational seminars.)

This time however, it knocked my glasses off my face, on to the floor, and in two pieces.  There was most of the glasses in one piece, and one of the lenses as the other piece.

After working with it awhile, I was able to at least get the lens back, almost where it belonged.

Last night my wife and I both tried to repair them with no luck, so today I went back to where I bought them.   

45 minutes later, they said they could not fix them.  I asked if they had the same model frame in stock, and they tried the new frame.   20 minutes later they said they could not get the lenses to fit either frame.  They said they would order a new frame but by now my confidence in them was zero.

Another 30 minutes later, they come out with my lenses partially in the new frames.  My head and eyes were pounding due to eye strain, and now these glasses were in worse shape than when I came in.

They were apologetic, but geez, you are  trained professional opticians (there were 3 of them) and I am your only customer and two hours later I'm in worse shape then when I walked in.

Without naming names, oh, sure I might as well, Wal-mart is a place I'll never go to again for anything like this again.

But there is a happy ending to this story, and here it is:

The Rave is about a 40 minute visit to Marschand Optical in Fort Wayne.  For years, repairing glasses has been their business.   I drove over there this afternoon after another appointment and explained to them the whole story.

They fixed the glasses, the way they were supposed to be fixed and asked for $3.00.  No, that's not a typo.  Three bucks.

I gave them a 20 and told them to keep the change.   I can see again, the headache and eye strain are gone and once again, they have earned another loyal customer.

Get Motivated wrap-up

I spent all of Tuesday, from 8 to 5 at the Coliseum for a Seminar that featured a variety of Motivational Speakers. I've been to similar events in the past and the warning usually is, leave your credit card at home, or you'll wind up spending a LOT more than you planned.

It was what I expected, if you take notes you'll find some inspiration, but for the most part, you really don't need to spend anything extra.

I even Googled the event and read lot's of positive reviews, and one negative.

Sherry Slater did a write up in today's Journal-Gazette that I'll point you to by clicking here and here too.

This photo was of the final speaker of the day, General Colin Powell.

Getting Healthy

I've been sitting on this post for a couple of days. It came in my email before Memorial Day but, I thought it might be best to wait until AFTER the big weekend to make these changes.

This is from the DumbLittleMan Blog, which has some pretty smart ideas:

How To Kill Your Addictions to Junk Food and Soda Pop

Posted: 20 May 2008 07:35 AM CDT

Written on 5/20/2008 by Garrett Whelan who writes about cooking for men or anyone trying to kick the fast food habit at

How can you kick junk food to the curb? Many of us have tried and failed, and tried and failed, and tried and ended up binging on Big Macs blended with ice cream, etc...

What we usually do is say, "After this bucket of KFC Chicken, I'm not eating this crap anymore!" Then we purge our house of all things sugary, we eat salads and whole wheat for about 3 days and then cave in the first time we drive past a Taco Bell. Where is the will power, the drive, the ambition you had a couple days ago?

That's because we try to stop eating junk food without thinking about it - without planning our escape. What we should do is worry about changing our habits. As Leo Babauta mentioned over at Zen Habits, forging new habits takes time and energy. If we want to kick our junk food habits we'll have to give both. That's why we're going to:
  1. only change one habit at a time
  2. give each change at least 2 weeks to become ingrained
After all, we've spent years building up these habits, we can't expect to take them down overnight. We'll do it smart, slow and consistent and we'll kick junk food to the curb.

I'm going to separate the tasks into kicking crap snacks, kicking fast food and kicking pop (soda to you philistines). Pick whichever will be easiest for you and do that first. A taste of success is incredibly motivating. Then do the one that will be hardest second while you're on an upswing.

Kick the Pop Habit

This one's probably the simplest. Not the easiest, but the simplest. You just keep downgrading every 2-4 weeks. Essentially switching terrible habits for bad and then switching bad for good.

  • Regular -to- Diet: First switch from regular to diet pop and leave it at that for at least 2 weeks. I know that some people say diet is just as bad as regular but we don't want to be fighting our caffeine addiction at the same time we're fighting our sugar addiction. Remember we want to change habits in stages to have the highest chance of success.

  • Diet -to- Caffeine Free Diet: If you do have a caffeine addiction this is where you'll find out. You're going to have about 3 days of feeling like a hangover mouth tastes while your body breaks the physical addiction. But stay on it for the full 2 weeks, we don't want to change too much too fast.

  • Caffeine Free Diet -to- Flavored Water/Water: Now we're moving into healthy territory. If you can't stand drinking water I'm not going to lecture you. Just drink the flavored water with 0 calories they have now, it's just as good(if you don't mind paying for it). If you want you can use that as a jumping off point to regular water but either way you should be loosing weight and feeling better than when you were drinking pop.
Kick Fast Food

How do we beat crack for the single male? Yes, that's how hooked people are on this. How about this:
  • Start by saving all your fast food receipts for one week
  • Now, place a jar by your bed
  • Each night, empty your pants, wallet, or purse of all the fast food receipts.
At the end of one week, you can add them all up and get a pretty good idea of how much you're spending on this crap. Round that up to the nearest $10 and cut it in half. That's how much you'll spend a week from now on.

Take that money and put it in a ziplock bag that you keep in your car. All your fast food will be paid for out of this fund, and when it dries up, that's it until next week. This will force you to ration and make choices.

Let it sink in for 2 weeks and don't forget to plan this out. Something has to replace all that fast food you're suddenly not eating. I suggest:
  • Keep something in your car to eat on the way home from work, like an apple or some nuts - something filling and always ready.
  • Have some frozen meals ready at home so you never wonder what you're going to eat tonight. If you can't make them yourself on the weekend, try those frozen skillets - something balanced and quick.
Then, when this new habit is a part of you, cut that dollar amount again, and again, and again until you're happy with how much (how little) fast food you're eating. I think under $10 a week is OK for most people.

Kick Crap Snacks

The first step to kicking crappy snack foods is doing a food inventory. What do you have in your kitchen? Cookies, chips, candy? And what are you eating them for? Which are your comfort food? Stress foods?

Then we're going to make a chart of all these snacks and for each one list a replacement snack. For example instead of potato chips you could eat tortilla chips with salsa. Now you can switch a crappy snack for it's healthier replacement. But no more than one every two weeks (pacing). Make yourself eat the new food daily so it becomes a part of your lifestyle and remember to snack before you get hungry.

It's a pretty straight forward process but here's a few tips to make it go smoother:
  • If you have a craving for a crap snack that you absolutely have to give in to, buy an individual portion or eat just enough to satisfy your craving and throw out the rest. Keeping it around is crap-snack sabotage.
  • If you have a sweet tooth, proportion something into bites and eat them after a healthy snack. For example cut a snickers bar into 8ths and keep each individually wrapped in the freezer, then eat one after you've filled up on popcorn. That gives you that sweet taste without having to fill up that sweet crap.
The three keys to kicking junk food are planning, pacing and sticking to it. Remember to take as long as you need to get these new habits ingrained, 2 weeks is a minimum. Better junk food free in 1 year than relapsing in 6 months.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008


You may have noticed that I have been reposting stories and articles from others, along with my own writing lately.

Anthony Juliano posted this on his SoundBite Back Blog:

Productivity tips for every hour of the day

Posted: 27 May 2008 06:26 AM CDT

Although it sounds like a contradiction in terms, it's easy to procrastinate about productivity. Being more productive sounds great in theory, but it also sounds like a lot of work. The problem is, like a lot of things, people tend to try to do everything at once and end up burning out shortly after they start. And that leads to a downward spiral of less productivity, less satisfaction, and less free time.

There is, however, a better way. Instead of taking on the overwhelming task of trying to simultaneously incorporate all the productivity advice you've heard, take it one hour at a time. Look for ways to make the most out of every part of your day, and you just may end up with more hours left over to do the things you really want to do. Here's an example of how to make small changes in your productivity every hour of every day.

6 a.m.
Start your day with some exercise. It doesn't matter whether you walk, run, or hit the gym. If you want to work out, doing it first thing in the morning is the best way to make sure that it gets done. And it kicks things off with a great energy boost that makes your first hours more productive.

7 a.m. Eat something. When you're running late, you may be tempted to skip breakfast. However, taking 15 minutes to eat something substantial instead of losing energy or snacking all morning will save you time and make you more likely to get things done right up until lunch.

8 a.m.
Plan your day. Take a few minutes to update your to-do list, glance at your calendar, and plan how you'll spend your time. This is the single most important step in making your day as productive as possible.

9 a.m. Check your e-mail, then go offline. Delete any messages you can. Respond to anything that will take less then 5 minutes to answer. Add anything else to your to-do list. And after that's done, set your e-mail to "offline" before you check it again. Otherwise, you risk spending your whole day volleying e-mails back and forth. Repeat this step no more than once every hour, unless you're waiting for an urgent message.

10 a.m.
Do the hardest thing on your to-do list. What's nagging you? What's the one task you're dreading? Chances are it's preventing you from focusing on other work. Get it out of the way. There's a very good chance that it's not as bad as you think it is, and worrying about it certainly isn't going to make it any better.

11 a.m.
Make one trip around the office. Instead of getting up every time you need to deliver something, retrieve something, get a drink, or visit a co-worker, save as many steps as you can by holding deliverables in an out basket. Then, when you have to do something that just can't wait, get a few other things done while you're up and around. Short of going to the bathroom, it's rare that you absolutely have to leave your desk for any one thing. A lot of times, however, we do so because we're avoiding work--like that thing you should have taken care of at 10 a.m.

12 noon.
Go out to lunch--and walk, if possible. Yes, there are days when going out to lunch is impossible. But whenever you can, get out, get some air, and take a walk if you can. Give your eyes, your back, and your brain a rest, and you'll come back feeling re-energized and ready for the afternoon.

1 p.m.
When you have a meeting, set limits. Start every meeting with these two statements to keep everyone focused:
  • We're going to conclude in 60 minutes (or however long you need)
  • We're here to talk about (subject) and decide (outcome)
Be strict about the purpose, start time and end time, or you'll waste time. And have one person take notes and e-mail them to everyone.

2 p.m.
Sometimes, you have to pick up the phone. E-mail always seems more efficient than other forms of communication, and it often is. But "easier" does not always equal "more efficient." Remember, there are times when you just have to pick up the phone:
  • When a client/customer prefers to communicate over the phone
  • When the e-mail you're about to send will only lead to more questions
  • When you're trying to schedule a meeting with one person not using the same calendar software as you
  • When what you're planning to say is critical, controversial, or risks being misunderstood
And by all means, when you're on the phone, don't send/read e-mails. You won't be giving either the phone call or the e-mail message the attention it deserves.

3 p.m. If someone comes to your office, give him your full attention, or ask him to come back. If someone visits you in your office, he either:
  • Thinks what they have to say is important or complex enough to warrant a face-to-face conversation, or
  • Is just trying to avoid work
The first person deserves your full attention, which means putting the phone and e-mail aside--literally, if possible--and looking him in the eye. The value of multitasking is overstated in most cases, and it certainly isn't as important a skill as active listening. As for the second person, tell him you'd love to talk, but you can't right now. Ask him if he's free for lunch tomorrow.

4 p.m.
Get ready for tomorrow--the office edition. What tasks do you need to set in motion, or what do you need to prepare for, in order to get ready for the next work day? Any meetings in the morning that you need to be ready for? Any files that you need to find? Take every action you can anticipate.

5 p.m.
Leave work on time. It's rare that there's something on your desk that absolutely can't wait until tomorrow. Your time is better spent getting a break from work and feeling like you've had time to yourself.

6 p.m.
Eat something healthy. You can't be productive if you don't feel good. There's no substitute for exercise and eating right.

7 p.m.
Relax. Do something fun. Turn off your brain. Play with your kids. Goof off. You don't have to be productive all the time.

8 p.m.
Get ready for tomorrow--the home edition. Anticipate everything you need from home for the next day. Set out the clothes you plan to wear, including your exercise clothes for the morning (which makes it a lot easier to get out the door). Get your work stuff ready to go. Shine your shoes if you have something big planned the next day. Do anything you can that you'd otherwise have to do in the morning.

9 p.m.
Read. Learning is one of the best ways to stay productive, and reading is still the best way to discover something new.

10 p.m. - 6 a.m.
Sleep*. Until we find a substitute for sleep, one of your greatest productivity tools is putting your head on the pillow, shutting your eyes, and doing nothing for eight hours.

What other recommendations do you have for staying productive every hour of every day?

*Have trouble getting to sleep? Check out these suggestions from Gretchen Rubin on The Huffington Post.

Photo: clix on stock.xchng

Do you read less or more with the growth of the Net?

I'll answer this first.

I read more. I read books daily.

I read emails quickly.

I spend some time at least once a week checking on the local blogs that are on the right side of this page.

And a tip of the hat to those of you that write at least 5 times a week.

Some of you will be removed from my list due to lack of new material.

But there is also room for more on those lists.

I have undertaken the self imposed discipline to write a least one new post a day on this blog, and at least 3 per day on my Collective Wisdom blog.

There are two keys to this. One, is a new feature that has where you can write now and post in the future. For example, it is 10:30 Monday night as I type, but I've decided to wait until 8:30am Tuesday for this to appear.

The other key, is determination to make a promise and follow through with it.

Back to the reading question.... what about you? Feel free to post a comment with your answer.

I'll be checking this blog Tuesday night...

Monday, May 26, 2008


For some reason, I used to have the impression that Mark Twain was a loafer. A lazy, do nothing, sort of fellow but I was sort of wrong.

It was his characters like Tom & Huck that had some of those qualities.

From the PositivityBlog, here's a list for us to keep in mind:

Mark Twain’s Top 9 Tips for Living a Kick-Ass Life

Mark Twain’s Top 9 Tips for Living a Kick-Ass Life“It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.”

“Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”

“When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old.”

You may know Mark Twain for some of his very popular books like Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. He was a writer and also a humorist, satirist and lecturer.

Twain is known for his many – and often funny – quotes. Here are a few of my favourite tips from him.

1. Approve of yourself.

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

If you don’t approve of yourself, of your behaviour and actions then you’ll probably walk around most of the day with a sort of uncomfortable feeling. If you, on the other hand, approve of yourself then you tend to become relaxed and gain inner freedom to do more of what you really want.

This can, in a related way, be a big obstacle in personal growth. You may have all the right tools to grow in some way but you feel an inner resistance. You can’t get there.

What you may be bumping into there are success barriers. You are putting up barriers in your own mind of what you may or may not deserve. Or barriers that tell you what you are capable of. They might tell you that you aren’t really that kind of person that could this thing that you’re attempting.

Or if you make some headway in the direction you want to go you may start to sabotage for yourself. To keep yourself in a place that is familiar for you.

So you need give yourself approval and allow yourself to be who you want to be. Not look for the approval from others. But from yourself. To dissolve that inner barrier or let go of that self-sabotaging tendency. This is no easy task and it can take time.

2. Your limitations may just be in your mind.

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

So many limitations are mostly in our minds. We may for instance think that people will disapprove because we are too tall, too old or balding. But these things mostly matter when you think they matter. Because you become self-conscious and worried about what people may think.

And people pick up on that and may react in negative ways. Or you may interpret anything they do as a negative reaction because you are so fearful of a bad reaction and so focused inward on yourself.

If you, on the other hand, don’t mind then people tend to not mind that much either. And if you don’t mind then you won’t let that part of yourself become a self-imposed roadblock in your life.

It is, for instance, seldom too late to do what you want to do.

3. Lighten up and have some fun.

“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”

“Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”

Humor and laughter are amazing tools. They can turn any serious situation into something to laugh about. They can lighten the mood just about anywhere.

And a lighter mood is often a better space to work in because now your body and mind isn’t filled to the brim with negative emotions. When you are more light-hearted and relaxed then the solution to a situation is often easier to both come up with and implement. Have a look at Lighten Up! for more on this topic.

4. Let go of anger.

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

Anger is most of the time pretty pointless. It can cause situations to get out of hand. And from a selfish perspective it often more hurtful for the one being angry then the person s/he’s angry at.

So even if you feel angry at someone for days recognize that you are mostly just hurting yourself. The other person may not even be aware that you are angry at him or her. So either talking to the person and resolving the conflict or letting go of anger as quickly as possible are pretty good tips to make your life more pleasurable.

5. Release yourself from entitlement.

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”

When you are young your mom and dad may give a lot of things. As you grow older you may have a sort of entitlement. You may feel like the world should just give you what you want or that it owes you something.

This belief can cause a lot of anger and frustration in your life. Because the world may not give you what expect it to. On the other hand, this can be liberating too. You realize that it is up to you to shape your own life and for you to work towards what you want. You are not a kid anymore, waiting for your parents or the world to give you something.

You are in the driver’s seat now. And you can go pretty much wherever you want.

6. If you’re taking a different path, prepare for reactions.

A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

I think this has quite a bit of relevance to self-improvement.

If you start to change or do something different than you usually do then people may react in different ways. Some may be happy for you. Some may be indifferent. Some may be puzzled or react in negative and discouraging ways.

Much of these reactions are probably not so much about you but about the person who said it and his/her life. How they feel about themselves is coming through in the words they use and judgements they make.

And that’s OK. I think it’s pretty likely that they won’t react as negatively as you may imagine. Or they will probably at least go back to focusing on their own challenges pretty soon.

So what other people may say and think and letting that hold you back is probably just fantasy and barrier you build in your mind.

You may find that when you finally cross that inner threshold you created then people around you may not shun you or go chasing after you with pitchforks. :) They might just go: “OK”.

7. Keep your focus steadily on what you want.

“Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.”

What you focus your mind on greatly determines how things play out. You can focus on your problems and dwell in suffering and a victim mentality. Or you can focus on the positive in situation, what you can learn from that situation or just focus your mind on something entirely else.

It may be “normal” to dwell on problems and swim around in a sea of negativity. But that is a choice. And a thought habit. You may reflexively start to dwell on problems instead of refocusing your mind on something more useful. But you can also start to build a habit of learning to gain more and more control of where you put your focus.

8. Don’t focus so much on making yourself feel good.

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”

This may be a bit of a counter-intuitive tip. But as I wrote yesterday, one of the best ways to feel good about yourself is to make someone else feel good or to help them in some way.

This is a great way to look at things to create an upward spiral of positivity and exchange of value between people. You help someone and both of you feel good. The person you helped feels inclined to give you a hand later on since people tend to want to reciprocate. And so the both of you are feeling good and helping each other.

Those positive feelings are contagious to other people and so you may end up making them feel good too. And the help you received from your friend may inspire you to go and help another friend. And so the upward spiral grows and continues.

9. Do want you want to do.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Awesome quote. And I really don’t have much to add to that one. Well, maybe to write it down and keep it as a daily reminder - on your fridge or bathroom door - of what you can actually do with your life.

Memorial Days Past and Present.

Memorial Day.

To some, it's the start of Summer, like Labor Day is the end of Summer.

To others it's another day for a sale, yet there seems to always be a sale.

Perhaps cookouts, camping, spending time with family.

Memorial Day for me though as a youngster included a trip with a blanket or a couple of lawn chairs to the parade route that ended at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

There were a few years in my high school days, that instead of watching the parade with my Dad, he and I were marching in it as members of Scout Troop 12.

Now, my father and one of his brothers who also served in the military are both gone, but remembered.

Their will be parades in our town and across the country today, and once again we will remember with thankfulness those that served that are missing from the cookouts.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

28 Hours

Sometime Saturday around 5pm, Kathy and I were sitting in the backyard, contemplating what to do.

There were tentative plans to get together that evening with friends, but they had something come up.

Kathy and I had the rare 3 days off at the same time thing going on, and feeling slightly restless, we contemplated where to go and what to do.

Checking online at Restaurants and Bed & Breakfasts within easy driving distance and a couple phone calls latter, plan were made and by 6:30pm, we were out of town heading towards Huntington, on our way to Wabash for dinner.

The Market Street Grill, in Downtown Wabash is a favorite place for us to go and enjoy a steak and salad, or soup.

Afterwards, we traveled west for about 20 minutes to a Bed & Breakfast that we had never been to before in Peru. The Shirk Mansion was what it is called and we were the only guests for the night in this huge home. (The owner lived in the home next door on the same property).

Church. We were planning on going on Sunday to our church in town, but ended up at a small Lutheran church in Peru at 11 this morning. The church was friendly (in a Lutheran sort of manner), and had been around for 150 years. The attendance was down due to the Memorial Day Weekend we were told. I would guess there were about 25 folks there including ourselves.

Lunch at a car-hop hot dog stand called Mr. Weenies and then a trip to find Mississinewa Lake which is south of Wabash and Peru.

Finally we decided to head back home, where I watched the last 1/3 of the Indy 500, we had leftovers, watched a movie and then went back outside in the backyard where we started our adventure 28 hours earlier.

I called my son back, he had called last night when I was driving and I needed to concentrate on finding my way around in the dark.

He has 2 more weeks of school in Maine and then he returns to Indiana and Ohio for the summer before going back to school in September.

But it looks like he will be studying abroad for the first part of next year in Iceland!

One more check on email and then it's time to wind down for the night.

It's amazing what you can back into 28 hours.

In honor of JoHo

Whose favorite cartoon is Calvin:

It's all in your head and heart

Direct from my email,

Here's Harvey:

Harvey Mackay's Column This Week

Change your thoughts and change your life

If what you see is what you get, what will you get?

That all depends on what you see.

A man pulled into a small restaurant on the outskirts of town. He remarked to his server: "I just was transferred to your town, and I've never been to this part of the country. What are people like here?"

"What are people like where you come from?" asked the server.

"Not so nice," the man replied. "In fact, they can be quite rude."

The server shook her head and said, "Well, I'm afraid you'll find the people in this town to be the same way."

A second gentleman came in and sat at a nearby table. He called out to the server. "I'm just moving to your area. Is it nice here?"

"Was it nice where you came from?" inquired the server.

"Oh, yes! I came from a great place. The people were friendly, and I hated to leave."

"Well, you'll find the same to be true of this town."

At hearing this, the first customer was irritated and asked his server, "So tell me, what is this town really like?"

She just shrugged her shoulders and said, "It's all a matter of perception. You'll find things to be just the way you think they are."

Is your glass half-full or half-empty? What do you see? Do you love your job even though there are a few things that bug you? Or do you let the little annoyances drive you crazy and complain to your co-workers non-stop?

As radio commentator Paul Harvey said: "I have never seen a monument erected to a pessimist."

A pessimist is one who makes difficulties out of opportunities. I've rarely seen a successful pessimist. You need to be able to look on the bright side of tough situations in order to take risks, and survive both successes and failures. The sooner you accept the fact that you will have both successes and failures, the easier it will be to get your business and personal life headed in the right direction.

An optimist, on the other hand, understands that life can be a bumpy road, but at least it is leading somewhere. They learn from mistakes and failures, and are not afraid to fail again. They know that as long as you get up after you're knocked down, you are not defeated.

The annals of business are full of very successful people who have gone bankrupt, lost companies, faced public humiliation and still came out on top. The only difference was their attitude: They believed in themselves and the others around them. Hard work, discipline and occasionally a little bit of luck kept them going. There's no reason it can't work for all of us too.

In his book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, which I highly recommend, Dale Carnegie tells the story of a young man who worried himself into a nervous breakdown. He worried about everything: his weight, his hair, money, being a father, losing the girl he wanted to marry and what others thought about him. He worried that he had ulcers.

Eventually, his worry made it impossible for him to work. Something had to give, and that was when he had his breakdown.

The young man avoided everyone and cried a lot. He decided to go to Florida to see if a change in scenery would help him. When he got on the train, his father handed him a letter and told him not to open it until he reached his destination. He was even more miserable in Florida than he had been at home.

Finally, he opened the letter from his father: "Son, you are 1,500 miles from home, and you don't feel any different, do you? I knew you wouldn't because you took with you the one thing that is the cause of all your trouble, that is, yourself. There is nothing wrong with either your body or your mind. It is not the situations you have met that have thrown you; it is what you think of these situations. 'As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.' When you realize that son, come home, for you will be cured."

After some reflection he realized his father was right. It was not the world that needed to change; it was merely the lens of his mind that needed adjustment.

Mackay's Moral: If seeing is believing, start seeing the bright side.

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