Saturday, November 29, 2008
(Don't like it on women, except eyebrows.)
I've had some ever since school ranging from a full beard to just a mustashe, probably 90% of the time.
Thursday I saw my son in person for the first time since September as he was in Iceland and his beard is fuller than mine. I try and keep mine somewhat short and professional. Yet most folks would describe me as "bearded".
Friday night the Art of Manliness wrote about Beards:
Posted: 28 Nov 2008 10:03 AM CST
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Steve Wilson, the author of beards.org. Make sure to check out his manly site! It inspired me to grow my first beard this month.
Growing a beard is an affirmation of manliness and masculinity. The beard itself is a physical characteristic that separates men from the boys, girls, and women. In our culture that has downplayed good old-fashioned masculinity, growing a beard shows that you are not afraid of being a manly man. You can reclaim a too-often-lost aspect of manliness by growing a beard.
How to Grow a Beard
Go ahead. Break free from the shaving trap and grow a beard. If you are ready to step up to the challenge of growing a beard, it is time to start growing. The key to a successful beard-growing effort is commitment. Just make a decision to grow a beard and stick with it. Do not be swayed by naysayers or lapses in your own
confidence. Do not let a transient period of itching send you running for the razor. Just make a commitment to grow the beard and stick with it. Make it non-negotiable and always remember that. It helps to set a commitment date. Be sure that you allow yourself at least six weeks. Then, stick to your resolution not to cave and shave prior to your commitment date.
It can often be helpful to choose a bearded role model to serve as a source of inspiration while growing your beard. This could be someone you know or it could be a famous or historic bearded figure. While growing your beard, if at any time your commitment and confidence falter, just remember your bearded role model and realize that he successfully grew his beard and realize that you can, too.
Self-consciousness is often heightened during the initial beard-growing phase. Do not worry about it! Man up! Be proud that you are asserting your right to grow a beard for all to see. If self-consciousness is tough for you, try starting the beard while away on a vacation or holiday break. When you return to your regular environment, remember your commitment. Do not be shaken by the reactions of others. After all, it is your decision, not theirs. It also helps to take positive comments as supportive statements while disregarding negative comments as being irrelevant.
Picking a Beard Style
You will likely wonder which style of beard will best suit you. There is no need to make a hasty decision. You might think that you should find out what the latest fashion trends are and make your choice of beard style accordingly. Forget that. Growing a beard should never be about fashion. Growing a beard is about being yourself. It is about being a man. Grow the beard that you want without giving fashion any thought.
There will be one controlling factor in selecting the proper beard style for you. That would be genetics and the amount and configuration of beard development you have been dealt. The main rule here is to make the best of what you have. While a beard is definitely a manly thing, the ability to grow a beard varies widely among men. Some men have abundant and profuse beard growth, while others have little or even none. Most men find themselves somewhere in between. Those with scant beard-growth potential are no less manly. Let me be clear about that. The amazing variability in beard-growing ability is just one of the mysteries of the beard. The beard is a gift and gifts differ among men. Those who have the gift of the beard should share that gift by growing the beard for all to see.
For those who are physically able, I highly recommend growing the full beard. The full beard is the classic style, the iconic beard image. If you cannot produce the full beard, choose a style that makes the best use of your beard-growth pattern, be it the goatee, the chin curtain, the chin strip, or another variation.
Whichever beard style you choose, be sure not to make the most common mistake in beard-growing: premature shaping. For most beginning beard growers, it is preferable just to stop shaving altogether and let everything grow for the first four weeks or so. For many, the scruffy look during this period is too hard to bear and they yield to the temptation to clean up the look by defining a shape to the beard. The trouble is that early attempts at shaping frequently result in too much of the beard being taken off — going too high up for the neck line or going down too low on the cheek line. The resulting awkwardly-shaped beard usually does not look right and often gets discarded as a failed-attempt at growing a beard. If you really cannot afford to stick it out and avoid premature shaping, at least approach your shaping effort with the objective of taking off too little rather than too much.
Many a new beard has been sacrificed for the desire for relief from itching. Do not let itching deny you your beard! After being accustomed to shaving for so long, the growth of a beard presents your skin with a new environment. Sometimes it causes a period of itchiness. Do not give up because of this. Keep growing, knowing that the itchiness should pass as your skin gets used to the presence of your beard. Remember your commitment! Meanwhile, you can soothe your itchy skin with a moisturizing lotion or other skin-care products that are used to relieve itching.
How To Care for a Beard
As your beard grows into a real beard, you will need to learn how to care for your beard. Many guys take charge of their own beard maintenance, not trusting the care of their beards to anyone else. It can be tough these days to find a barber who really knows his stuff when it comes to beard trimming. If you cannot find a barber who is sufficiently trustworthy to trim your beard, buy a beard trimmer and learn to use it. Most men find that maintaining a beard is much easier than daily shaving.
Growing a beard is an adventure that can be a surprising process of self-discovery. And it certainly is a manly thing to do. It’s even manlier to grow a beard and keep it. A recent comment sent in to beards.org puts it nicely: “Beards are just the best way to live life.” For all the information, support, and inspiration that you might need to make your beard-growing adventure a success, visit http://www.beards.org/ .
Friday, November 28, 2008
"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!!!" -- Arthur Carlson, WKRP in Cincinnati
The above quote is from the famous WKRP in Cincinnati episode where Station Manager, Arthur Carlson (played by Gordon Jump), arranged to have live turkeys dropped from a helicopter as an advertising stunt.
The TV "Drop"
Unfortunately, this turned out to be a serious miscalculation. The poor birds plunged to earth, never even having a chance. Their tragic "last flight" was relayed to WKRP listeners by reporter Les Nessman, played by Richard Sanders:
"It's a helicopter, and it's coming this way. It's flying something behind it, I can't quite make it out, it's a large banner and it says, uh - Happy... Thaaaaanksss... giving! ... From ... W ... K ... R... P!! No parachutes yet. Can't be skydivers... I can't tell just yet what they are, but - Oh my God, Johnny, they're turkeys!! Johnny, can you get this? Oh, they're plunging to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! Oh, the humanity! The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! Not since the Hindenburg tragedy has there been anything like this!"
WKRP in Cincinnati: Thanksgiving Turkey Bomb! @ Yahoo! Video
Based on Reality
Oddly enough, this famous WKRP episode was loosely based on a real event! Back in 1946 (some sources say 1945), Yellville, Arkansas inaugurated the "Turkey Trot Festival" which included a wild turkey calling contest, a turkey target shoot, a Miss Drumsticks Pageant and oh yeah: a live turkey release from the roof of the courthouse.
After a few years, someone thought it might be fun to actually toss the poor gobblers out of a low-flying airplane for the event. This repeated for a number of years until 1989 when a national animal-rights protest cast the event in a bad light and the "National Enquirer" splashed a photo of the event across the nation forcing promoters to abandon the turkey drop.Sometimes, real life is funnier - or plain stranger - than anything you can make up.
Tonight's video, around 5:45pm will featuring something else you may not want to do.
Posted: 21 Oct 2008 03:40 PM CDTI was out with friends for dinner and when we decided it was too early to call it quits, we went to a dance club adjacent to the restaurant for a drink. While we walked over, we laughed as we recalled our previous experiences in clubs. When walked in, we were stunned to find that we felt completely and utterly out of place.
How had we gotten so old? Why did these 20-somethings look so YOUNG? What was this music? How are these young people dressed? Wow, we quickly realized did we realize that there was a time and place for this and it was about 20-some years ago!
As you mature, other things in life take precedence over nursing hangovers and not remembering the end of the night. Spending your entire paycheck on drinks no longer seems fiscally responsible. Yet, it is sometimes so difficult to move away from the party club scene that has been part of your life for so long. How do you meet people? What should you do on a Friday night? How can you persuade your friends to do something else?
Believe it or not, there IS life out there beyond the club scene and there are so many other ways to meet people, whether it's at your church, at the gym or at fundraisers and dinners.
When I look back at the fun times I had in my youth, I remember booze-induced laughs and outrageousness but I also remember feeling slightly empty, like something was missing. After a while, I realized that my bar-hopping and club-cruising days were over and it was time to get back into things that "the rest of the world" were involved with.
Are you at this point and ready for a change? Here are some ways to skip the club scene in favor or something a little more productive.
Get back into sports
Why not spend the afternoon with some of your friends and relatives at a sporting event? Tailgating can add a bit of spice to the pre-game hours -- WITHOUT letting libations get out of control. Spending time with people you enjoy invigorated in the outdoors is surely a wonderful day out. If you're unable to afford an afternoon at an NFL football game, go to a college game as they can be even more exciting. Head over to your local baseball farm team. How about hockey?
Instead of spending your evening dancing and meeting people that you would probably never talk to let alone rub up against, try heading out to dinner with some close friends. You might even set a date with someone you've been interested in. Dinner and drinks is a much more "grown-up" way to enjoy an evening. Great conversation, fantastic food, alluring atmosphere. If you take the time to research a place, you might find exactly what you are looking for. How about a hole in the wall Italian joint with fantastic food, a trendy place to "be seen" or an elegant restaurant with impeccable service?
Take time for yourself
If you've been working really hard and need a low key break, try staying home for an evening. Got a flair for culinary arts? Make yourself or even a few friends a recipe that you've been waiting to try and enjoy with some wine and conversation (or even skip the wine and just go for conversation!) If you love to read or watch movies, make some time for these things. A great book or a fun movie can be quite revitalizing, and an easy conversation segue for when you're out and socializing.
Do what you like
If your main reason for going out is to meet people or "someone" then give other social places a try. Join a book club, or a gym, or a cigar club or a boat club. It is amazing how many clubs are out there for specific interests. There is something about sharing interests with people that almost automatically draws you together. I've met many who I now consider friends though such venues.
If you find that you've been neglecting your hobbies, make sure you recommit. Love the outdoors? Looking to push your body to the limit? Then make an effort to get physical. The adrenaline alone in something like rock climbing or hang gliding would be enough to forget about the clubbing scene. Meet up with your pals to play soccer on a Saturday afternoon. Find intramural sports in your area. There are so many ways to exercise your body and not your wallet.
When it becomes more important to preserve your brain cells than kill them, more important to enjoy your weekend than to waste it, more important to live life than to stumble through, it may be time to reevaluate your age and what most people your age are doing!
|Written on 10/21/2008 by David Bohl. David shares the viral message Slow Down FAST and helps people raise the roof on all facets of their lives without risking implosion. Get some must-haves here.||Photo Credit: icanteachyouhowtodoit|
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Posted: 23 Nov 2008 01:20 AM CST
This funny poem is timely with the Thanksgiving holiday. While it’s about carving a duck, it’s just as applicable to carving a turkey. Don’t be like the hapless dad in this poem. Learn how to carve a turkey correctly before Thanksgiving.
We all look on with anxious eyes
When father carves the duck,
And mother almost always sighs
When father carves the duck;
And all of us prepare to rise
And hold our bibs before our eyes,
And be prepared for some surprise,
When father carves the duck.
He braces up and grabs a fork
Whene’er he carves a duck,
And won’t allow a soul to talk
Until he’s carved the duck,
The fork is jabbed into the sides,
While every careful person hides
From flying chips of duck.
The platter’s always sure to slip
When father carves a duck,
And how it makes the dishes skip!
Potatoes fly amuck!
The squash and cabbage leap in space,
We get some gravy in our face,
And father mutters Hindu grace
Whene’er he carves a duck.
We then have learned to walk around
The dining room and pluck
From off the window-sills and walls
Our share of father’s duck,
While father growls and blows and jaws
And swears the knife was full of flaws,
And mother laughs at him because
He couldn’t carve a duck.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Posted: 20 Nov 2008 11:37 PM CST
Image from Vermont Ferrett
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and that means one thing- turkey. Preparing and carving a turkey for loved ones at Thanksgiving is definitely a manly task (cooking in general is a manly task). It involves roasted flesh, sharp knives, and popping joints. So impress your friends and family this year by cooking up a juicy and delicious bird. After you’ve cooked it, earn extra man points by masterfully carving it with a sharp knife. Carving a turkey is a rite of passage every man must go through. But if you don’t do it right, you’ll just be left with a mangled mess of meat.
To help guide us through cooking and carving our Thanksgiving turkey, we brought in our friend Karl Engel. Karl is the head chef of the award winning BBQ and grilling team Pigcasso. Follow Karl’s instructions, and you’ll soon be cooking and carving a Thanksgiving turkey like a real man.
How to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey
Pick the right turkey. The first step in cooking a turkey is picking the right turkey for the job. With turkeys, bigger is not better. The best size turkey is between 12 and 16 pounds. Anything larger than 16 pounds and you’ll get tough and chewy meat. So stay away from the big 22 pound Tom turkeys. If you’re serving lots of people, get more than one medium size turkey.
Thaw it. Before you throw your turkey in the oven, it needs to be completely thawed. The best way is to let it thaw slowly in your refrigerator. Thawing your turkey in the fridge isn’t a one day affair. Depending on how large your turkey is, it could take days before it is completely thawed, so plan ahead. Below I’ve included a chart with the typical time required to thaw a turkey based on how much it weighs.
Time Required to Thaw a Turkey
8 to 12 lbs.
2 to 3 Days
13 to 16 lbs.
3 to 4 Days
17 to 20 lbs.
4 to 5 Days
21 to 24 lbs.
5 to 6 Days
What if you don’t have a week to thaw the bird? A little hack from your grandma’s kitchen will get that turkey thawed in no time. Get a large tub of COLD water. Make sure the turkey is wrapped up in a leak proof package. Place the turkey in the tub. 30 minutes per pound of turkey is required to thaw your turkey using this method, so if you have a 15 pound turkey, it will take approximately 7 and 1/2 hours. Make sure to change the water every 30 minutes to keep it cold.
Clean it. Next you’ll need to clean out the giblets and neck. Most frozen turkeys have the giblets and neck in a nice little package stuffed inside the turkey in the back cavity. Just stick your hand in there and pull them out. You can save the giblets for gravy or you can toss them. Rinse out the bird under cold running water.
Brine it. Turkey by nature is a dry meat. Cooking only makes it drier. In order to keep the juices in the bird where they belong, you’ll need to brine this bad boy. You have two options for the brine: a wet or dry brine. You can find a good recipe for a wet brine at Alton Brown’s website.
Our friend Karl likes to do a dry brine. It gets the job done just as well as a wet brine and isn’t as messy. Here’s what Karl uses for his dry brine mixture.
- 2 cups of kosher salt
- 1/4 cup of ground black pepper
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of dry herb mix.
How to Carve a Thanksgiving Turkey
Our friend Karl Engel was kind enough to star in a short instructional video on how to carve the turkey. Watch it, follow his instructions, and you’ll have the best looking turkey platter in the neighborhood. I’ve also included the instructions in text format if videos aren’t your thing or if you need to check back later about specifics.
Let the bird rest. After you take the turkey out of the oven, you want to let it rest for about 20 to 30 minutes before you start carving. If you start carving too early, the juices from the bird will run all over the place and your turkey will dry out. Also, letting the turkey rest and cool will reduce the chances you’ll scald yourself with delicious but molten hot turkey juice.
Separate the leg and the thigh from the body. Take a sharp knife and cut the piece of skin in between the body and the leg. Once you have some separation, grab the body of the bird in one hand and the leg and thigh of the turkey in the other, and start pulling them apart to expose the joint that holds the leg to the turkey. You know you’ve reached it when you hear a pop. Carve around the joint until you don’t get any resistance. Pull the leg and the thigh away from the body of the turkey all in one piece. Repeat on the other side.
Separate the leg from the thigh. Holding the drumstick, stand the thigh and leg piece up on its end. Take your knife and cut between the drumstick and the thigh bone. When you meet some resistance with the thigh bone, move you knife around it a bit until you don’t get any resistance. Make the final cut and separate the drumstick from the thigh. Place the drumstick on the platter so the kids can start fighting over who has dibs on it at dinner time.
Cut the thigh meat. You’ve got some great meat on the thigh bone. Don’t let it go to waste by just hacking away at it. There’s one bone in the thigh meat and your goal is to separate the meat from the bone. Grab the end of the thigh bone, and take your knife and carefully start scraping the meat away from the bone. If you’re really careful you can take the thigh meat off in one piece. But if you need to separate it in two pieces when cutting it away from the bone, it’s no big deal. Once you get the meat separated from the thigh bone, you can carve it up for your platter.
Separate the wing from the body. Our next step is to separate the wing from the body. The wing is attached to the turkey by a ball joint. Cut the the area between the wing and body until you get to the joint. Once you get there, grab the wing and pull it away from the turkey until you hear a pop. Once you hear that pop, take your knife and start cutting through the tendons and ligaments surrounding the joint until you separate the wing from the body. You can serve the wing whole on your platter. Repeat on the other side.
Carve the turkey breast. You have some options on how you carve the turkey breast. The traditional way is to carve small slices off the side of the breast. There’s nothing wrong with this way, but it does tend to dry the meat out. Also, if you get the wrong kind of knife, you can tear the meat and it won’t look as good when you serve it.
Another way you can carve the breast meat so that you maintain juiciness is to cut the entire breast off the turkey and then carve it up into smaller slices. Here’s how you do it. Find the breastbone in the middle of the turkey. Pick which breast you’re going to carve first, and make a cut right next to the breastbone on that side.
Continue carving down the side of the breastbone. It helps to use your hands to peel the breast away from the bone as you’re cutting. Keep making small slices with your knife until you can separate the entire breast from the turkey.
Once it’s off, grab your large carving knife and slice the meat against the grain starting at the small point of the breast. You can make the slices as thin or as thick as you want. If you don’t think you’ll eat the entire breast, just cut what you’ll use, and wrap the rest of the breast in plastic wrap. It will stay nice and juicy for later.
Your Final Product
Happy Thanksgiving. It’s time to feast. I’ve got dibs on the drumstick.
The Art of Manliness Free Man Cookbook
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008
As you spend time with family and friends this week, please be safe and take heed from the messages in this video. I believe these are a series of ads that aired in Ireland, and are not for young children.
It's a strange title, but as you read more from Harvey, you'll understand:
Harvey Mackay's Column This Week
Without a doubt, question your decisions
Will Smith is a success by any Hollywood standard. He is a Grammy Award-winning rapper. He starred in a hit television sitcom. He was nominated for two Best-Actor Academy Awards. He's had eight consecutive films that grossed more than $100 million. He's also a film and television producer. And you may not know that he was accepted at, but did not attend MIT—yes, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
One of the secrets to his success might surprise you. It's self-doubt.
Smith can't run away from his fears. Whenever he feels fear, he faces it head-on. He tells a story about being in Jamaica as a young man, where he watched people jump off a high cliff into the water below. He was fascinated, but also terrified because he didn't know how to swim. He wasn't going to let that stop him, however; so he walked to the edge of the cliff. Several minutes later, he jumped and obviously lived to tell the tale.
Much of his behavior is in response to a fear that he couldn't live up to the high esteem in which he was held by his mother and grandmother. He concentrated his efforts on trying to meet their expectations. Smith still has some self-doubts, especially in terms of fulfilling the perceptions of those he loves.
Of his fear, Smith said in an interview, "I've learned to use it; to flip that negative energy around and make it a challenge. I keep going because I doubt myself. It drives me to do better. I've learned that the mastery of self-doubt is the key to success."
I'll admit that there have been times when I have questioned a decision or approached a problem and responded more out of fear than reason. I maintained a pretty calm façade, but truth be told, I had all my fingers and toes crossed for good luck. Most of the time, the result was exactly what I had hoped for. A few times, I got fooled.
Those less-than-desirable outcomes serve as a vivid reminder that we cannot get too arrogant. A measure of self-doubt is a healthy part of management strategy. In fact, it's a necessary ingredient. As French author Jules Renard said, "There are moments when everything goes well; don't be frightened, it won't last." How true!
The trick, then, is to be able to adjust to the peaks and valleys, and still keep your business or career on track. When should you let your doubts rule your actions?
Always! Yes, always. It's good to question things you have always taken for granted, and things that have never been tried. Never confuse confidence with arrogance. Confidence allows you to proceed with some reason to believe that you will succeed. Arrogance prevents you from really examining your decisions, and is almost always a recipe for disaster.
Eleanor Roosevelt had an interesting observation: "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
How else will you know whether you can succeed if you always take the easy and proven route? How will you find what needs to be changed if you do not question the way things are done?
Perhaps the experience of Tony Verna, the television producer/director who invented instant replay for sporting events, will shed some light on the importance of being able to doubt yourself.
Instant replay was used for the first time in a 1963 Army-Navy football game. "The idea came to me out of frustration," Verna said. "Before replays, football telecasts were filled with dead spots. . . It really destroyed the momentum of the telecasts. Replays gave you something to show during the pauses. It seemed to make the game go faster."
Today, instant replay is a permanent fixture of sports telecasts. And now, it's used to review questionable officials' calls, which can cause long delays, contradicting the original purpose of instant replay's creation.
Verna said, "It's ironic. The reason I started instant replays was to keep the momentum going. Now the replays are slowing the whole thing down."
The other irony is that now, Verna doubts that his invention improved the broadcasts in the way he envisioned. But they are also removing doubt from the game's officiating! Go figure.
Mackay's Moral: Reasonable doubt helps you work the bugs out.
Miss a column? The last three weeks of Harvey's columns are always archived online.
More information and learning tools can be found online at harveymackay.com.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Posted: 20 Nov 2008 02:52 PM PSTWe all know some of the favorite things people like to do on Thanksgiving: watch football, watch The Macy's Day Parade, and of course taking a nap after gorging on Turkey.
Well the purpose of this article is to inspire everyone who reads it to turn off the TV (web, video games) for part of the day and really spend some quality time with your friends and family. You'll have have fun doing it and you'll create fun, fond memories.
1. Take a Walk. Pick an enjoyable destination. All you need to bring are your sneakers and conversation! Or you could join a Thanksgiving road race or road walk.
2. Play Touch Football. Or soccer, tag, hide-n-seek, etc. Just get outside with the gang and do something that involves running around and taking in some nice fresh air.
3. Boardgames! Get out those games you have in the closet since last Christmas and haven't played yet. Scrabble, Life, Yahtzee, Cranium, Trivial Pursuit, Trouble, Chutes & Ladders, whatever! Have some silly fun!
4. Play Charades. This doesn't take much. Make your own rules as you go. Have fun!
5. Sing-a-Long. Karaoke. Get out the instruments, guitars, piano. Dust off that accordion. Bring out the tambourines, spoons, etc. Put on a holiday radio station and sing along. Make up a contest. You can really have fun with this.
6. Memory Sharing. Share stories. You can pick a theme such as:
- The greatest day of my life.
- The best thing that happened in my life this year.
- My favorite memory from childhood.
- The funniest thing that ever happened to me.
7. Share Thanks. At dinner have everyone share what they are thankful for before eating dinner.
8. Silly Dance Contest. Just like it says. Be silly. Dance. Make up your own rules.
9. Kids Talent Show. There's usually one grownup at family gatherings who likes to get the kids doing activities. If you're that person maybe you want to have the kids perform for the whole family after dinner. While everyone is watching football you could throw it together. (Of course adults can join the show too!)
10. I Love My Family because.... Gather round as a family and have each person share what they love about the family.
11. Share the Love. Have the family all in one room and have each person tell why they admire the person next to him/her. And then that person says why they admire the person next to him/her, and so on. "I Admire ___________ because..."
12. Treasure Hunt. Create a simple treasure map and "prizes." There can be one prize or multiple prizes, like an egg-hunt. Ideas for prizes: chocolate turkeys (is there such a thing?) or a packet of coins or a gift certificate wrapped up in a box. Share your ideas in the comments please!
13. Name That Tune. Play the humming game where each teams or individuals have to name the tune.
14. The Questions Game. Here is a link to a family game with very few rules. You get to make up the rules. The idea is to spark conversations, have fun, and get to know each other better.
15. The Craziest Thing .... (that I saw or experienced this year). As a family tell stories that can be true or made up. It can be a little bit like "To Tell the Truth." Everyone tells a crazy story that is either true or made up and everyone has to guess if it is true or not. And the story doesn't have to be something that they actually experienced.
16. Our Family Tree. Have everyone imprint a fingerpaint handprint on a big sheet of paper with their name underneath. You can have it framed or take a picture of it to share with everyone.
17. Start a Thanksgiving Day Banner. Starting this year create a banner that can hang in your living room that will have a picture of the whole family from each year. It can become an heirloom for future generations. You could also create a similar item electronically say with a website.
18. Three Legged Races. Link up kids/grownups. You could also try a sack race or create an obstacle course race too. Have some fun silly prizes or simple privilege prizes like the first place team doesn't have to help with clean up or they get first dibs on the turkey.
19. Family Thanksgiving Journal. Grab a blank notebook. It doesn't have to be fancy. Write down everyone's thanks for this year. And then next year do the same so that over time you build a treasured family book of thanks as well as a sort of family history.
20. Make Me Laugh. Tell jokes. You can make it into a game to see if you can get someone to laugh. Can be done as individuals, round-robin, or as teams.
Happy Thanksgiving all! Enjoy!
Please share your favorite Thanksgiving traditions and family fun activities in the comments! We'd love to hear your ideas!
Originally written for Dumb Little Man by K. Stone in 2007. She is the author of Life Learning Today, a blog about daily life improvements. Photo by Cameron Nordholm
Posted: 23 Nov 2008 05:59 AM PSTWay before the sun peeks over the horizon, a few chosen people awaken from their slumber and dive head first into their day. These chosen few accomplish a ton before the rest of us would ever consider rising from our nice warm beds.
Who are these juggernauts that have command over the morning hours?
In theory, your productivity level shouldn't differ if you rise at 4am or 11am. What matters is the quality of sleep that's giving your mind and body sufficient time to recover.
These early rising juggernauts, these unstoppable agents of productivity, they see things differently. They see these early hours as their chance to lay claim to their share of the day. They rise with purpose, act with determination, and achieve ruthlessly.
The sun has not caught me in bed in fifty years. - Thomas Jefferson
- Appointment With Waking: The harsh truth about the human body is that we're creatures of habit. In some ways this can be extremely inconvenient when trying to take on new things. However, if we allow ourselves to live within the rules of our body's natural cycle, which is a 24-hour circadian rhythm, we will be pleased with the body's functionality.
This means that when you find a waking hour that will work best for you each day of the week, you should stick to it. This will allow your body to want to support you in your endeavor of waking up, and rise you out of bed feeling fresh as a daisy.
- The King and The Pauper Way Of Eating: The way our bodies function optimally is if we eat like a king in the morning and a pauper in the evening. This means that it's best to eat heavier, bigger portions in the morning because these meals will give us high energy throughout the day and then burn off.
Eating like a pauper, meaning small light meals, in the evening allows us to go to sleep on an empty stomach. If your body is functioning normally, and you don't have stomach ulcers, going to sleep on a mostly empty stomach will allow you to sleep better. This nightly fast allows your body to take it's focus away from digestion and put it towards repair and rejuvenation of the body's cells.
- Living With Purpose: Young children will do anything to avoid going to sleep at night. These same children are also the ones that can't wait to get out of bed first thing in the world. The simple reason for this non-lazy behavior is that they don't want to miss a thing.
As adults we may need more persuasion than 'not wanting to miss a thing'. This is why we take extra steps in creating fun, life changing goals, and scheduling specific ways of how we'll get a step closer to these goals during this coming day. What we all need is not necessary a cause we're willing to die for, but at least a cause we're willing to LIVE for.
- Plan Your Day: We can say we're going to live with purpose, but unless we plan, we can tell ourselves that we'll start living with purpose next week, or the week after that. Planning is one of the fundamental ways to maximize your mind to achieve your goals, and as such it plays a critical role in allowing us to have an awesome day, everyday. We need not do more than take 15 minutes the night before to succinctly organize the next days schedule.
A schedule complete with waking time, most important things of the day, eating and recreational allowances. Having a tight schedule allows me to live out my day with definitive purpose, while getting more done, having more fun, and not wasting precious moments of my life.
“Happy people plan actions, they don't plan results” - Dennis Wholey
- The Water Hack: A bit of water before bed and half a liter as soon as you get up. The water before bed will serve in the rejuvenation process we mentioned above. While you sleep all your cells will fill up with this fresh water and create an over all well being within your body.
The water in the morning does two things. One is it provides your first dose of water to get your mind and body going. Another function, as told to me by my endocrinology teacher (a very qualified person to say this), is that a dose of water in the morning triggers a cascade of physiological functions that engages your digestive system and causes you to excrete feces. You'll feel nice and light first thing in the morning!
- Work That Body: In number 1 above I mentioned that our bodies adapt around a 24-hour circadian rhythm. This works for sleep, eating, exercise, and many other bodily functions. We're a pretty efficient physiological machine when you think about it. This is why getting a dose of exercise is optimal in the morning. It gets the blood flowing and stimulates you to function on a higher level.Once you're used to this routine, your body will prepare by providing you with high energy before you start to work out. As you can see, if you wake up with this high energy, you're going to just pop out of bed.
"Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness." - Edward Stanley
- Have 'Me' Time: No morning is completely satisfying unless you've scheduled in some 'Me' time. Whether you enjoy meditating to clear you mind and give you laser sharp focus, or reading to gain some new knowledge about the world, make sure you schedule in this time.
There may very a variety of things you enjoy doing, so this will be custom tailored to the individual. The point is that when you have something you REALLY enjoy doing right when you get up, you won't be able to wait until that alarm goes off till you jump out of bed and get to it!
|Written by Alex Shalman who is the author of How to Get a Girlfriend and Practical Personal Development Blog and Podcast.||Photo Credit: ohsoabnormal|
With everyone focusing so much on the negative side of the economic meltdown, there a massive opportunity that’s being missed. It’s not scammy, it’s not about capitalizing on people’s misfortune or cashing in on a on trend. It’s real, it’s deep and if you tap it, it will change the way you work and live. It’s all laid out in the revolutionary Fire Fly Manifesto
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Posted: 18 Nov 2008 01:36 PM PSTHow many people out there are unhappy with their careers? Many people don't even consider themselves as having "careers" per se, they just have jobs.
For many people, their career or job feels more like it picked them rather than the other way around. Have you ever looked back on your time working at your career/job and wondered how so much time got away from you and why you didn't make a change yet?
Life is too short to work at a job in which you are unhappy. Most people stay in their current jobs because it is comfortable and they are probably comfortable with their duties and responsibilities. Nothing new to learn, you have it all figured out right?
Well what most people don't think about is that the seemingly secure, dependable job you have could be terminated tomorrow. Some people have mandated job security, like tenure with teachers. But the overwhelming majority of us could be fired from our jobs tomorrow. So don't keep working at a job you don't like because you feel some false sense of security. Go do what you enjoy, because that job security you feel is most likely misplaced.
Follow these steps to find the career make you feel fulfilled.
- Create A Fake Advertisement About Yourself
If you had to write a five sentence advertisement about yourself highlighting your best attributes, what would it look like? What would you say? Stop wondering. Sit down and do it. Write out 3-5 sentences describing your best work related attributes that an employer would be most interested in.
This exercise takes some real, honest self analysis. Truly look at your work ethic and marketable skills and try to put them in the best possible light. Once you are satisfied with your description for your ad, sit and think about how you might like to improve the description of yourself. What would be some great attributes to have? What could you do to improve yourself so that your ad seems more appealing?
Now that you have done your self analysis and created an honest, positive advertisement for yourself, and also identified goals to improve your self description, it's time to make your advertisement for some far off date in the future. Pick a time period within which you seek to accomplish your career goals. I recommend at least five years, but it could be ten or twenty, it is up to you. Envision what you would like to accomplish in that time period and the skills you would have to possess in order to accomplish those things. What attributes would you need to possess in order to reach such goals? What experiences would you have to list in a description of yourself?
Remember, you are selling yourself, so be optimistic and positive about what you can accomplish in the time period you have set for yourself. Look at the advertisement for the future and picture how you can accomplish those goals and gain those attributes and experiences. Once you identify who you want to be in the future, you can start taking the steps to get there.
- Share Your Advertisement
Creating a career plan is really about pleasing yourself and making sure that you are working on a career that makes you happy. At the end of the day, YOU need to feel fulfilled. Do not make a career plan you think will make other people happy, make one that will make YOU happy. However, a little feedback can be a positive thing.
Share your plan with someone you trust. Tell them you are thinking about your long term career goals and that you have created a description of your future self that you hope to achieve through self development. That person may see some holes in your description, or an area you may not have considered. Many times, a second set of eyes can really help open up a different perspective on self analysis and goal setting.
- Develop A Plan
Creating a future advertisement for yourself does little good without taking steps to become that person. You need to chart out a plan for meeting each specific attribute you listed for your future self. If you want more experience in a certain field, consider volunteering on a small scale to get your foot in the door until you can get a paid position. If your future self requires more education to reach your goals, check out the courses offered in your area that may lead you down the path to your future ideal self.
This could be a time consuming process filled with research and leg work. Plus, it is not as fun as sitting and writing down a description of who you would like to be. That exercise is filled with wonderment and positivity. Developing a plan is tough leg work. However, a future description of yourself without a plan to get there is useless. Getting to be the person you want to be and the career you strive for will be hard work. Don't let anyone fool you into believing anything else. But at least you will have the good feeling of knowing you are starting to set the wheels in motion to become your future ideal self.
The point here is that you need to make a plan to achieve specific goals that will build on one another and eventually culminate in you becoming the embodiment of the person you described in your future self advertisement.
- Take Action
Now that you have a plan to become that person you described in your future ad, you need to begin implementing the steps you laid out in your plan. Set aside a time period every week where you can sit down with your future self ad and your plan to evaluate what you have done to reach your goal and carry out your plan. Congratulate yourself on steps you have taken, and be brutally honest if you have not done much of anything constructive to meet your goals.
This is a self evaluation exercise, but it does not end with the descriptions of yourself in your present and future advertisements. Self evaluation throughout the process is essential to ensure you are continuing to take steps to meet your career goals and to maintain the motivation you need to make any of the big changes in yourself you need in order to become that future person you described.
The last step here involves visualizing what you will be like in the future, after you have become that future person you described. Think about the happiness and fulfillment that will result from you working at a career you love. What will that bring with it? Make sure you think about the payoffs and why you want to be that person. I suggest doing this at the end of your weekly session to evaluate how you have implemented your plan.
Visualization will help you to maintain motivation to become that future person and create that career you seek. Many times with these type of goals setting exercises, people start out strong, but then fade when the motivation wanes. Visualizing the greatness and positivity that will result from you meeting your goals, carrying out your plan, and becoming that person you seek to be will help maintain your motivation you need to carry you to the end of your journey.
|Written on 11/18/2008 by Mike S. Mike writes about personal development for intellectual thinkers at his website at his website mikesalara.com||Photo Credit:|