Saturday, March 12, 2011
My wife Kathy and I will be celebrating 10 years of marriage on Thursday. We have 5 kids ranging in age from 22 to 30 from our previous marriages.
March 17th 2001 Kathy and I dedicated ourselves to each other and committed our relationship to God and we said our vows in front of our kids, our Moms and friends at St. Johns Lutheran.
At this moment, Kathy and I are gathered again, this time at our home with family and friends for a renewal of those vows and dinner.
The song that you'll hear is the song that I selected as our wedding song a decade ago, and thousands of others have done the same:
Friday, March 11, 2011
Posted: 04 Mar 2011 09:22 AM PST
Do you often find yourself running late? Perhaps it's been a life-long problem – at college, you were always sloping into class five minutes after the professor had begun. It might not have mattered too much then ... but in the working world, punctuality is crucial.
If you're habitually late for meetings, if you miss deadlines, if you're often late for work, then you're going to be killing your chances of promotion – and even putting yourself in line for dismissal.
You might be an intelligent, creative person with a ton of skills and experience. And in some countries, where time-keeping isn't seen as very significant, your lateness wouldn't matter at all. But if you live in the West (or work with a number of Western clients), it's really important. Because if you're always late, you're giving people the impression that:
- You're disorganized and careless – you can't get yourself together to set off on time.
- You're self-centered – you're keeping people waiting for you.
- You're a liar. You said, "I'll email you by Wednesday" – and you didn't get in touch until Friday, not even to explain the delay.
- You're stupid (or, at best, far too optimistic). If "traffic was bad" is your excuse every morning, people will wonder why the heck you can't just plan for it.
So, punctuality matters. A lot. And once you realize that, it's an easy thing to get right.
Being On Time (Always)
There are plenty of little tricks that you can use to show up on time. Try these six for starters:
- Aim to arrive ten minutes early.
Take a book or some work with you, so that you've got something to do before the meeting (or whatever) begins. It's much better to be early and relaxed than late and stressed!
- Allow for delays.
If you're traveling in rush hour, you know that traffic's going to be bad. If you're taking the kids to grandma's, you know it will take a while to get them all into the car. Don't be hopelessly optimistic; just give yourself an extra half hour.
- Cut yourself some slack.
When you're agreeing to a deadline or giving an estimate, build in a bit of slack. You might be fully confident that you can complete that report in two days, but what if something unexpected crops up? Ask for three days (and, if you can, make yourself look good by finishing a day early.)
- Be more organized.
How often have you been late because you forgot your keys and had to hunt the house for them? Or because you had to turn back and get that vital document which you left sitting on the coffee table? Keep your keys, phone and wallet in a consistent place. Get your meeting materials together the day before.
- Don't get distracted at the last minute.
Have you ever checked your emails right before heading to a meeting, "just in case"? It's far too easy to get distracted and leave it too late to get there on time.
- Set an alarm to remind you when to stop working.
If you have a meeting at 11am and it's a half-hour drive to get there, set an alarm or reminder for 10.15 so that you've got time to stop work, grab your stuff and get there with a few minutes to spare.
|Written on 3/4/2011 by Ali Luke. Ali writes a blog, Aliventures, about leading a productive and purposeful life (get the RSS feed here). As well as blogging, she writes fiction, and is studying for an MA in Creative Writing.||Photo Credit: manwithface|
Thursday, March 10, 2011
If someone tells you, "It can't be done", do believe them?
Accomplishing the (seemingly) impossible
By Harvey Mackay
A college student arrived a few minutes late for his final exam in mathematics. The room was quiet, with everyone working hard, and the professor silently handed him the test. It consisted of five math problems on the first page and two on the second. The student sat down and began to work. He solved the first five problems in half the time, but the two on the second page were tougher. Everyone else finished the exam and left, so the student was alone by the end of the time period. He finished the final problem at the last second.
The next day he got a phone call in his dorm room from the professor. "I don't believe it! You solved the final two problems?"
"Uh, yeah," the student said. "What's the big deal?"
"Those were brain teasers," the prof explained. "I announced before the exam that they wouldn't count toward your final grade, but you missed that because you were late. But hardly anyone solves those problems in so short a time! You must be a genius!"
"Genius" is sometimes just not realizing that something is impossible.
Truly, some feats are impossible. I don't expect to ever see a person fly without some mechanical help. I'm not betting on anyone outrunning a high-speed locomotive. But then, I probably wouldn't have put money on Antonio Albertondo, who swam the English Channel in 1961.
The Channel waters are cold and unpredictable. Only a tiny percentage of those who have attempted to swim across have reached the other side. But Antonio, who was 42 years old at the time, swam from England to France, where his waiting friends congratulated him for accomplishing what they thought was impossible for a man his age.
Antonio stopped long enough for a hot drink, and told his friends they hadn't seen the impossible yet. Then he dove back into the water, swam 22 more hours and made it back to England. Did he accomplish the impossible? I vote yes.
I do believe that there are limits to our physical abilities. But I absolutely accept that our minds have capabilities that we cannot begin to comprehend. Antonio's physical accomplishment also had a major mental component. He put his mind to accomplishing the seemingly impossible.
"So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable," said the late actor Christopher Reeve. Reeve's dream of walking after a catastrophic horseback riding accident was never realized, but because of his activism and fund-raising activities, major research breakthroughs for spinal injuries have given hope to many.
While most of us will be asked to perform difficult assignments, not many will be actually expected to accomplish the seemingly impossible. Some days we may wonder how we'll get all our work done, or catch up, or be successful in the next project. Those days pass, usually leaving us with a sense of pride that we have greater capacity for achievement than we realized.
What we call progress was once called impossible. If necessity is the mother of invention, then a positive attitude is the master of the impossible.
A positive attitude leads you to ask "what's possible?" and then follows that question with "what else is possible?"
The Walt Disney Company employs "imagineers" to explore the possibilities and push the limits of reality. Even though their businesses are built on fantasy and illusion, the effects must all look real and believable. I believe accomplishing the seemingly impossible is a daily event for this creative and determined company.
We can do this in our businesses too -- and we must if we intend to survive. If you value your customers as much as we value ours at MackayMitchell Envelope Company, you'll settle for nothing less. A positive attitude, creativity and determination combine to create genius.
Former First Lady Nancy Reagan recounts a story about the genius of the Greatest Generation. "Once, at the University of California, a student got up to say that it was impossible for people of Ronald Reagan's generation to understand the next generation of young people. 'You grew up in a different world,' the student said. 'Today we have television, jet planes, space travel, nuclear energy, computers...'
"When the student paused for breath, Ronnie said: 'You're right. We didn't have those things when we were young. We invented them.'"
Mackay's Moral: What could you accomplish if no one told you it was impossible?
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Every once in awhile you need to listen to the radio.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine wanted to listen to a guest on a local talk show that airs on one of my radio stations, WGL 1250AM The River, in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
We have a website and most people can listen live by following the link on the home page at http://www.1250theriver.com/.
But there is another way that I discovered recently to listen to radio stations not just locally but all over the country. It's called Tune In Radio. You can find it on the web at http://tunein.com/
They boast about access to over 30,000 stations, and there are applications for all major mobile devices and smartphones.
Monday, March 07, 2011
Giving up is easy. Anyone can do that. People do it all the time. I do it. All of us do. We surrender. We throw out the next possible opportunity sometimes, simply because we fell down in some way or another, or because someone else finally wore us down with their repeated message that we couldn’t succeed. Surrender is practically a national sport, it seems.
Persistence, however, is a trick worth nurturing. If you can keep at something, if you can find and rekindle that little spark of faith that you’ll figure it out, then you can rebuild again and again. Persistence is the act of building continuity. It’s the deliberate action of doing something, doing it again, doing it again, until you get it right, and maybe doing it over and over after that, too.
At the Grammys, there was a medley of performances from Rihanna, Eminem, Dr. Dre, and Skylar Grey. Three of the four (sorry, I don’t know anything about Skylar) had something in their stories about persistence. Rihanna kept her career going, after having to deal with an abusive boyfriend. Eminem came back from a serious drug habit. Dre had to battle his own inner demons after having spent 10 years away from recording studio albums. In each case, they persisted, even though things went wrong, and even when life didn’t throw a perfect hand.
Persistence is a powerful state to consider. If you can find the discipline to persist, then you’ve got a power that many seem unable to master. That said, here are three (or maybe four) masters of persistence:
Thanks to @RunnerBliss for finding me this version of the songs on YouTube.
Sunday, March 06, 2011
Not because anyone is keeping them stuck, but they are keeping themselves stuck.
DLM Blog had a few ideas:
Posted: 21 Feb 2011 08:16 AM PST
As I look out the window, I see white snow-covered roads and buildings and I wonder if I will ever feel better. This feeling of stuckness comes and goes. I feel trapped. It feels like I’m in a jail-cell without bars. I am itching to get out, but there’s no door, and I have no idea where to even begin.
During the short span of my adult life, I’ve made money, traveled, and done things that I thought would make me happy. Now, I’m not saying that they are useless, I’m just hinting at the fact that the answer seems to come from the inside instead of the outside.
Perhaps it isn’t all about the money, big house, white fence, two kids, travels, and the things that society tells us are important goals to go after.
As the years have gone by, I’ve become more and more aware of what is going on inside of me when I feel stuck. What I have a tendency to do – and you probably do, too – is push the feeling away, because it feels uncomfortable.
Stuckness can manifest itself anywhere, and when left unchecked, it tends to spread into other areas of your life. For example, stuckness in a relationship can easily spread to work and life in general. Everything affects everything, even when we don’t want it to, especially when we don’t want it to.
Something interesting happens when you become aware of your current feelings. Happiness, excitement, and joy are always easier to observe than anxiety, fear, and stuckness, but then again, you learn more from the latter group.
But before we proceed, we have to ask ourselves: what is acceptance? What does it mean? You hear people throw it around like it’s the next big thing since sliced bread, but do most even know what they mean when they use it?
To me, acceptance means being with whatever is. It means living in reality without any illusions. To you it might mean something completely different. It's up to you to define.
When you’re stuck, you can accept the fact that you’re stuck, and be with your stuckness. Begin feeling where the stuckness is in your body. For me it’s usually in the chest area. When I close my eyes, start breathing, and start feeling, I get curious about what’s really going on and how stuckness feels. I look at it as an experiment, a game. I am the observer and I am here to learn. I don’t try to push it away or do anything other than be curious about what is going on, like a child explores its surroundings, I want to explore my inner workings.
When I get curious, instead of resisting and pushing away, everything changes. It’s hard to start the process, because it feels scary to look into a feeling that feels negative, but once I start breathing and get curious, it all just melts away.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the stuckness will magically melt away, but it will help you see it for what it is. Just changing your perspective from resistance to curiosity will make a big difference. And it doesn’t have to take a long time either. You can do this anytime, anywhere.
You can sit down, take a few deep breaths, close your eyes (I like to close mine to give me more inward focus), and observe what is going on inside you. This is also called being in the now or being present. It’s a powerful tool for overcoming anything, because it helps you see what is truly real. We have a tendency to escape into the past or future, to regret or to worry.
Now I’m curious about another thing: do you have any tips for how you have gotten past stuckness? If so, please share in the comments below.
|Written on 2/21/2011 by Henri Junttila. Henri blogs at, Wake Up Cloud, where he shows you how you can earn money online ethically. You can also get the Passion Blogging Guide, which is free, but really shouldn't be.||Photo Credit: Joe M500|