Rely On Yourself

My mobile phone situation has been giving me increasing amounts of grief lately.

First it was not enough memory.  I had pretty well stripped down the apps on the device, but the phone’s memory just wasn’t sufficient for the phone to run smoothly.  Thanks to a good friend, I was able to upgrade to another model, with a lot more memory.

Then the battery started having issues on the new phone.  And the case/screen was loose. I got the screen fixed, then bought a new battery.  Then somehow the phone went to Recovery Mode.  Dun Dun DAAAAAAAA.

All this has me thinking about one fundamental truth:  Be careful what you come to rely on in your life.  Don’t give away too many skills, too much fundamental control of your information management, too much awareness, for the sake of convenience alone.  Have redundancy build in.  And know how to respond if things you rely on go off the rails.

In the end you don’t need much to keep things moving forward.  As long as you have a plan, and are prepared to execute if necessary, you’ll be ok.

Rely on yourself first and foremost.

Take The High Ground

Sometimes this phrase is used in a military context.

Other times it’s used more to refer to a moral position on something.

Either way it means taking a decision that will make you stronger.  It means putting yourself above the fray, real or imagined.  It means choosing the path that will hopefully give you some advantage in the present, and maybe the future too.

Keep your sense of what’s right, what the best decision is for you and your situation.

Remain strong.  Don’t allow yourself to lose your dignity, your humanity.   Take the high ground and hold it.  You’ll be glad you did.

Yes It Is.

Let it be so.

Let it be GOOD.

Choose to be happy.

Recharge.  Reset.

Do what YOU need to do.

Soak up the feeling.   The GOOD feelings.

Try something new.

Read something fun for an hour.

Go for a walk with your wife, your husband, your kids.

Enjoy the breeze, the sunshine, the chill, the moment of calm.

Let it be so.

Weekend.

Pace

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[Image courtesy of Cycling News, Jens Voigt]

How to go faster?  How to get faster?  Is faster always better?

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about pace.  A few central ideas come to mind.  These ideas aren’t only applicable to racing; they apply to anything we want or need to do in a sustained way:  work and chores and all related tasks.

First, how do we find our own pace?

How to find it, how to maintain it.  Great, fundamental questions.  It’s an individual thing to a degree, but also a universal.  If you run a five minute mile you’ll always beat the guy running a ten minute mile.  Training to get faster is pretty well established.  Practice, practice, practice.

I also find that an early start to training helps the effort.  Don’t rush.  Start early.  Give yourself plenty of time to warm up.  Allow your body and mind to settle into the session. Concentrate, focus.

Once you’ve found your pace, a place you’re comfortable enough to sustain the effort for an extended period of time, you have to maintain it.  Your body will tell you a lot about how you do this.  So will your mind.  Listen to them both.  Remain focused.  Make minor adjustments as needed to keep going.

Return to the fundamentals when you start to tire, when you start to waiver:  deep breathing, relax your body, shift your wait, pause your mind for a moment or two, then settle back into the effort.

BREATH. CONCENTRATE. SUSTAIN THE EFFORT.

Find your pace.  Keep your pace.  Get better, get faster.  You can do it.  GOOD.

Wait

The skill of waiting is a human skill.   Best to learn it early.

The importance of learning and mastering delayed gratification can’t be overstated.  Whether you control the situation or not, knowing how to wait is key to happiness in life.

But that’s not the last word.

The Waiting Place.  What lesson from this classic account from Dr. Seuss?  Well, there are lots of lessons, for sure.  But with respect to waiting, a particularly thoughtful insight.

The other side of waiting.  Don’t spend too much time in this here.   Don’t get complacent or passive or into a fuddle you can’t get out of.

It’s best to learn when to wait and when to move on.  When you end up in the Waiting Place, do this:  Pause, rest, reflect, then motivate and move on.

The GOOD is waiting.

Addendum:  There are a lot of great insights from Seuss in this book…some of the best shared here.

Talisman

Kids like to carry things around, have things around.  What does that mean?  My son has his Cat Boy figure and gray cat stuffed animal he sleeps with.  My older daughter has her box of special box of goodies she keeps in her bed.  And of course, our youngest has her luvy.

All these things function to provide security for children,  things they can control, things they love.   But such things are not just for kids.  Humans have carried special things for millennia.  This behavior goes far back in human history.

Why do we do this?  Do special things have magic? Probably not.  But they do give us  Comfort.  Familiarity.  Security.  Certainty.

Life Hack of Ancient Practice, it goes WAY back.  And that’s cool.  That’s GOOD.  If we’re honest with ourselves, we still have them into adult hood.

The key thing to remember?  Recognize, Maximize the “Magic” you get out of your talisman, but don’t rely on them.  The magic, after all, is within you.

Simple, Not Easy

Spend the time, make the list, do the work. Everyday.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy, it doesn’t mean it’s the same each day, but the motivation comes from the same place.

Do the work.

Deep within. It’s a simple formula. Make it happen for yourself. Make it happen for those around you.

It’s pretty simple. Not always easy. Often not so.  Sunk deep into frustration and delay and problems and things you can’t control, it’s easy to give up.  But that is decidedly NOT what to do.

Instead, choose the hard path, the one straight up the hill.  It’s steep and difficult, yes.

But it’s straight forward and it’s doable.  You know what you need to do.  So do it. It’s up to you.

#Charlottesville

Let me humbly offer these few, simple thoughts, one American voice among so many.

Our country is in the midst of a difficult time. So much division exists, and fear, and uncertainty.

That said, the America I want to live in looks like this:

All people of good will are accepted and respected.

Hatred and bigotry are not welcome.   If you choose to peddle racism, isolationism, or any other attitude that divides, YOU are not welcome.

Tolerance and individual efforts at understanding one another must reign supreme.

Liberty and justice for all are the central themes we live by, one nation under God.

Fear No Evil

…for I walk with you.

Filled with faith, my heart on fire in God, I go forward.

My resolve is complete, certain of my path with the Lord.

For God is love, and I know the time is short to share that love with others.

That is what we are called to do. As we love, as we are loved, so we experience God.

Love comes in the most unlikely ways, from the unexpected places, sometimes.

And love comes in unexpected ways, as well. It's not always straight forward, not always dressed the same.

But you'll know when it happens, if you're honest with yourself. You'll know when you can share it.

Do so. And if you do so, you are with God.

Teach Them to Care

Let’s take another spin on the concept of caring, and why it’s so important. The environment, Mother Earth, one planet for all of us, we have to take care of it.

How?

Simple lessons are the best, that teach the proper approach, that create sustainable actions that help humanity conserve.

Like what?

Like The three R’s Jack Johnson sang about: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle.

Sing the song, spread the word. The efforts, the practices don’t get old. They’re timeless.

I remember an old friend’s story about what they did at her house to conserve. Her example with the plastic zip-loc bags her family used. It wasn’t one and done. They washed the bags out, let them dry, use them again.

The underlying lesson? We have to teach our kids to give a damn.  It carries over.  It teaches responsibility. It’s timeless.

It CAN make a difference. It DOES. WE can make a difference. Each of us can. And we have to.

To survive.

Love Your Mother.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

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